Professional career[ edit ] Kansas City Chiefs[ edit ] Johnson was drafted in the first round with the 27th overall pick in the NFL Draft as insurance for the Kansas City Chiefs , who were unsure if Priest Holmes would be healthy or even sign a contract extension. The conflicts between Johnson and Vermeil grew, and in Vermeil said that Johnson needed to grow up and "take the diapers off. However, towards the end of the season, Johnson got an opportunity to start after injuries to Priest Holmes and Derrick Blaylock.
Facing the same situation in , with Blaylock gone and Holmes having gone down with a season-ending neck injury in early November, Johnson stepped up, and on November 20 against the Houston Texans ran for a Chiefs' record rushing yards and two touchdowns. He led the league in rushing yards and touchdowns after the injury to Holmes. Johnson in a game in In addition to his running ability, Johnson proved himself to be an adept receiver. Johnson was named the MVP for the Chiefs.
The Chiefs' record in was 10—6, but did not make the playoffs in spite of a winning record. With injuries limiting Holmes during the previous two seasons, Johnson began the season as Kansas City's featured back. In an October 15 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers , Johnson pulled strong safety Troy Polamalu down by the hair in order to tackle him.
Although tackling a player by his hair is legal and does not alone constitute unnecessary roughness,  Johnson was penalized for rising to his feet while retaining grasp of Polamalu's hair pulling him up in the process. At the conclusion of the season, Johnson was selected for his second Pro Bowl appearance.
On June 21, Johnson stated that he was willing to sit out the Chiefs' training camp unless he and the Chiefs reach an agreement on a new contract. The initial asking price was a first-, second-, and third-round draft pick.
In week 9 of the regular season , Johnson was sidelined late in the 4th quarter against the Green Bay Packers with a foot injury. The injury was season-ending, as Johnson did not see any playing time in the rest of the season and was placed on the injured reserve list. The Chiefs lost the game 17— Johnson was suspended for the Chiefs' game against the Tennessee Titans on October 18 for violating team rules.
Johnson, after weeks of being inactive for the Chiefs, was suspended by league commissioner Roger Goodell for the team's week 10 game against the San Diego Chargers. Johnson's season got off to a very slow start, despite Johnson keeping his starting job. The Chiefs as a whole, and not just Johnson, struggled mightily in , losing their first 5 games before winning 14—6 over the Washington Redskins. On October 27, , the Chiefs "instructed Larry to refrain from practicing with the Chiefs or participating in other team activities" for his Twitter comments on Chiefs' head coach Todd Haley and reportedly using gay slurs when he addressed the media.
Our coach played golf. My father played for redskins briefley. Johnson's response used the word "fag". The final post read: U don't stop my checks. I regret my actions. The words were used by me in frustration, and they were not appropriate.
This angered several fans, who started a petition demanding that the Chiefs either deactivate, release or waive him. The petition said that Johnson "has never represented anything close to the values that we have for our Chiefs" and thus did not deserve the record.
Reportedly, the final straw for Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli was yet another tweet in which Johnson belittled a fan for making less money than him. Johnson's agent, Schaffer, issued the following statement: There's a lot of feelings going on right now. It's analogous to breaking up with a girlfriend. Maybe you saw it coming, but it still hurts when it happens. Johnson served as backup to starting running back Cedric Benson.
In the Bengals week 12 win over the Browns, Johnson rushed for yards, his only yard game of the season. He played for former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan. On September 3, the Dolphins terminated Johnson's contract during final roster cuts. He rushed for 46 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries in the preseason. However, he was re-signed on September 8 after an injury to Daniel Thomas.
He was released following the Dolphins' week 2 loss to the Houston Texans when he only ran the ball once for a two-yard gain.