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Terry "Tank" Johnson (born December 7, 1981) is a former American professional football defensive tackle. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He played college football at Washington.

Tank Johnson
refer to caption
Johnson at Cincinnati Bengals training camp in 2010
No. 99, 66, 95
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1981-12-07) December 7, 1981 (age 37)
Gary, Indiana
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:315 lb (143 kg)
Career information
High school:Tempe (AZ) McClintock
NFL Draft:2004 / Round: 2 / Pick: 47
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:135
Forced fumbles:2
Fumble recoveries:1
Player stats at

He also played for the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals.

Early yearsEdit

Johnson was born in Gary, Indiana. His father moved him to Arizona when he was six years old. He attended McClintock High School in Tempe, Arizona, where he had a B-plus grade average.[1] Johnson played college football at the University of Washington. During his four years at the University, he was second team All-Pac-10.

Professional careerEdit

2004 NFL CombineEdit

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 3 in
(1.91 m)
304 lb
(138 kg)
4.69 s 1.70 s 2.71 s 4.60 s 7.56 s 34 in
(0.86 m)
9 ft 6 in
(2.90 m)
31 reps
All values from Central Florida Pro Day.[2]

Chicago BearsEdit

The Chicago Bears selected Johnson with the 15th pick of the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Along with teammates Tommie Harris, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Nathan Vasher, Johnson helped the Bears' establish the league's most productive defense during the 2005 NFL season. During the start of the 2006 NFL Season, Johnson saw more action due to the loss of Tommie Harris.

On January 23, 2007, two days after the Bears won the NFC Championship Game, Johnson was forced to appear in Circuit court to request permission to leave the State of Illinois to travel to Miami, Florida to play in Super Bowl XLI stemming from an arrest on gun charges late in 2006.[3] The request was granted, and he played in the game, recording four tackles, assisting on another, and getting a half-sack.[4] On May 16, 2007, Johnson met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to determine punishment for his off-the-field transgressions,[5] with Goodell eventually imposing an eight-game suspension, with the possibility of a reduction to six games if Johnson followed certain requirements for violating the NFL player conduct policy.

On June 25, 2007, after another run in with the law, the Chicago Bears waived Johnson, ending his three-year tenure with the team.[6]

Dallas CowboysEdit

After being released from the Bears, Jerry Jones showed interest in signing Johnson.[7] The two shortly came to terms, though Johnson was forced to miss eight games because of his suspension.[8] He returned to the field on November 11, 2007 during a game against the New York Giants. In that game, Johnson recorded three solo tackles and a single sack.

He didn't perform as well as expected while playing nose tackle in a 3-4 defense, instead of defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme, additionally Jay Ratliff had a break-out year at nose tackle. In 2008, he played through a sprained ankle in a reserve role. He wasn't re-signed at the end of the year.

Cincinnati BengalsEdit

Johnson signed with Cincinnati Bengals on April 7, 2009.[9] As an unrestricted free agent, Johnson signed with the Bengals to a 4-year deal on March 8, 2010. His contract was terminated with the Bengals on August 16, 2011.

Personal lifeEdit

After retiring from professional football, Johnson attended Mesa Community College in Arizona to complete the requirements for a degree in sociology from the University of Washington.[10] He created a counseling program called 'Moving the Chains', which helps ex-offenders learn from their mistakes and avoid negative influences in their life.[10] Johnson commented on his legal problems, stating, "I got in a ton of trouble and I wasn't a bad guy. I had myself in too many uncontrolled environments."[10]

Legal troublesEdit

In November 2005, Johnson was arrested at the Excalibur nightclub in Chicago for possession of a handgun in his sport utility vehicle.[11] Johnson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge and was sentenced to 18 months probation and 40 hours of community service.[12] On February 12, 2006, Johnson, while still on probation, was charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest after allegedly verbally threatening a police officer. Johnson was leaving the Level Nightclub on Chicago's Rush Street when the police officer was ticketing a limousine driver whom Johnson had hired. As Johnson allegedly put up a struggle, he was maced and subdued with the help of other police officers. The charges were eventually dropped.[13]

On December 14, 2006, Lake County police officers searched Johnson's home in Gurnee, Illinois, and allegedly discovered that he possessed six firearms, including two assault rifles. According to police reports, some of the guns were loaded and there were children in the house.[14] Although Johnson was at football practice during the search, his bodyguard Willie Bernard Posey was arrested from his house for alleged possession of marijuana. Johnson was charged with violation to probation and possessing unlicensed weapons. Bears coach Lovie Smith deactivated Johnson for the following game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers based on this incident.[15]

On December 16, 2006, Johnson's best friend and bodyguard Willie Bernard Posey was killed in a shooting at the Ice Bar in Chicago's River North neighborhood. Posey was shot after he was allegedly involved in a fight around midnight. Posey was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:30 a.m. Posey's assailant was not immediately apprehended.[16] However, on December 28, Chicago Police apprehended Michael Selvie, Posey's alleged assailant. Selvie, a "reputed gang member" has been implicated in over 30 other crimes. However, Selvie's defense attorney claimed that Selvie does not possess a firearm or any gang affiliations. On February 19, 2010, following a bench trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Michael Selvie was convicted of first degree murder. Selvie was later sentenced to 55 years in prison. His case is currently on appeal.

On December 22, 2006, Cook County Circuit Judge John J. Moran, Jr. (Skokie courthouse, Second District, Cook County, Illinois) placed Johnson on home confinement, preventing him from driving by himself or leaving the state of Illinois.[17] On December 30, 2006, Tank Johnson contacted Gurnee Police Department to file harassment charges.[18] Local youths left a toilet seat with a harassing message on his doorstep. Local news reported that the police did not disclose what the message on the toilet seat said.[19] On February 8, 2007, Johnson entered a guilty plea in Cook County's Courthouse in Skokie for violating his probation.[20] On February 17, 2007, Johnson's lawyer contested a Lake County Circuit Court to drop Johnson's unlicensed weapons charges. His attorney claimed that since Johnson is a resident of Arizona, he does not have to abide to gun registration laws of Illinois.[21] On March 15, 2007, Johnson was sentenced to a 120 days in Cook County Jail and fined $2,500 for violating his probation.[22] Johnson entered a plea of not guilty on 10 counts of possessing a weapon without the proper state-required ID.[23]

On April 30, 2007, Johnson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor weapons charge as part of an arrangement with prosecutors that kept him from serving additional jail time. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail, which was served concurrently with a four-month sentence he was already serving in the Cook County Jail for violating his probation; to donate $2,500 to the Gurnee Police Department and $2,500 to the Gurnee Exchange Club's child abuse prevention program.[24] While he was in jail, many of his teammates and coaches, including Brian Urlacher, Rex Grossman, and Lovie Smith visited Johnson.[25] His release from jail on May 13, 2007 ended his legal problems from the December 2006 weapons incident.[26] The league ultimately suspended Johnson for half of the regular season on June 4, 2007.[27]

On June 22, 2007, Johnson was pulled over for speeding in Gilbert, Arizona. According to the police, he was stopped after driving forty miles per hour in a twenty-five mile per hour zone. He was also suspected of driving while impaired "to the slightest degree", but was released without being booked or charged. The Bears waived Johnson a few days after hearing the news, as general manager Jerry Angelo stated that he had no room for error left.[28] The incident would prove to be the final straw in his already tense relationship with the Bears' organization. The Bears ultimately released Johnson on June 25, 2007.[29] Almost a week after Johnson was waived, the results from a blood test conducted on Johnson when he was pulled over confirmed his blood alcohol content was under the legal limit.[30]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Tank's family shocked by recent developments". Retrieved 2006-12-21.
  2. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Bears' Tank Johnson can travel to Super Bowl". Archived from the original on 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2007-08-04.
  4. ^ "Super Bowl XLI Box Score". Super Archived from the original on 2007-07-17. Retrieved 2007-08-04.
  5. ^ "Bears' Tank Johnson meets with Goodell". Archived from the original on 2007-05-19. Retrieved 2007-05-16.
  6. ^ Mayer, Larry. "Bears say goodbye to troubled defensive tackle". Archived from the original on 2007-06-28. Retrieved 2007-08-04.
  7. ^ The Dallas Morning News, Cowboys bring in Tank Johnson for physical, Retrieved 18 September 2007
  8. ^ "Suspended defensive tackle Tank Johnson signs contract with Dallas Cowboys". Yahoo! Sports. 2007-09-18. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  9. ^ Retrieved on 2009-04-07.
  10. ^ a b c Biggs, Brad (2015-03-31). "Former Bear Tank Johnson plans to offer advice to Ray McDonald". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2015-04-01.
  11. ^ Illinois gun laws Archived 2006-10-02 at the Wayback Machine (PDF)
  12. ^ "Another Bears distraction: Tank charged". Archived from the original on December 16, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-20.
  13. ^ ""Tank" Johnson In Trouble with the Law Again". Archived from the original on 2007-01-11. Retrieved 2006-12-20.
  14. ^ "Tank Johnson Charged After Police Raid Home". Retrieved 2007-07-30.
  15. ^ "Tank Johnson Charged After Police Raid Home". Retrieved 2006-12-20.
  16. ^ "Police: Man Harassed 'Tank' Prior To Bodyguard's Shooting". Retrieved 2006-12-20.
  17. ^ "Tank Johnson gets home confinement". Retrieved 2006-12-22.
  18. ^ Tank Johnson Pleads Not Guilty To Gun Charges Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Tank questioned in slaying
  20. ^ "Tank Johnson Pleads Guilty On Probation Violation". Archived from the original on 2007-03-14. Retrieved 2007-02-08.
  21. ^ Lawyer Asks That Tank Johnson's Charges Be Dropped Archived 2007-02-23 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ CBS Chicago, Tank Johnson Sentenced To 120 Days In Jail Archived 2007-03-17 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on March 15, 2007
  23. ^ Bears' Johnson Begins Time At Cook County Jail Archived 2007-05-13 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Tank Johnson Pleads Guilty, Avoids More Jail Time Archived 2007-05-13 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Bears showing concern for Tank Archived 2007-05-12 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Bears' Tank Johnson To Be Released Sunday Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^, NFL announces Tank Johnson suspension Archived 2007-06-06 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved on June 4, 2007
  28. ^ Yahoo! Sports, Tank Johnson stopped by police in Phoenix suburb Retrieved on June 22, 2007
  29. ^ Yahoo! Sports, Bears waive suspended Tank Johnson Retrieved on June 25, 2007
  30. ^ Associated Press, Tank Johnson under legal limit in DUI arrest (July 2, 2007), Yahoo! Sports, Retrieved on July 2, 2007.

External linksEdit