Johnson is Ochocino, Ochocinco is Johnson

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Johnson is Ochocino, Ochocinco is Johnson

I think we need to be careful before jumping to conclusions about what really happened inside Chad Johnson's car this weekend. Mostly, because both 85 and his wife are certifiably insane.

You know about Chad. His whackiness has been on display since the moment he entered the league. Of course, he never really gave off the vibe that he was "violent crazy" especially towards women. But I guess you never know.

As for his wife, Evelyn Lozada (Antoine Walker's ex-fianceeone of the stars of VH1's Basketball Wives), here's a little glimpse at what she brings to the crazy train.

All aboard!

OK, I won't make any more light of this situation. But the point is that I really think it's worth pumping the breaks on labeling Johnson a wife beaterdomestic abuser until all the details are out there. For now, all we have is two crazy people in a smart car with a condoms receipt.

The one thing we do know, however, is that Chad Johnson is out of a job the Dolphins released him shortly after he was released from jail.

If you watched the first episode of HBO's Hard Knocks, you weren't surprised by this development. Even though he looked pretty good on the field, there was no question that Johnson's unpredictable, attention-whore mentality was already wearing on new head coach Joe Philbin and Co. It's obvious that they don't really care if 85's innocent or not, they just don't want him associated with the team. And no one can blame them. Johnson's had one 1000-yard receiving season since 2007; the time for putting up with his ridiculousness has long past.

But I don't think people are done putting up with it.

In light of everything that may have happened this weekend, I've heard a bunch of people speculate that Johnson head-butted away his career in that smart car. That Miami was his last shot in the NFL, and he'll now have to settle on a career as professional reality star. I don't buy it, though. There's no way we've seen the last of Chad Johnson.

If Terrell Owens is still getting chances at 38, someone will take a chance on Johnson at 34. Or 35. Or 36. And he'll probably blow every one.

But that won't stop them from trying.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski is a model citizen in the NFL. In fact, the NFL Players Association is advising rookies to be more like Gronk, according to The Boston Globe

The New England Patriots tight end has developed a name for himself on and off the football field. With that attention comes branding. And at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere from May 18 to 20, the NFLPA encouraged rookies to develop their own brand -- much like Gronkowski.

“Some people think he’s just this extension of a frat boy, and that it’s sort of accidental,” Ahmad Nassar said, via The Globe. Nassar is the president of NFL Players Inc., the for-profit subsidiary of the NFLPA. “And that’s wrong. It’s not accidental, it’s very purposeful. So the message there is, really good branding is where you don’t even feel it. You think, ‘Oh, that’s just Gronk being Gronk.’ Actually, that’s his brand, but it’s so good and so ingrained and so authentic, you don’t even know it’s a brand or think it.”

Gronkowski's "Summer of Gronk" has indirectly become one of his streams of income. The tight end makes appearances for magazines and sponsors. Because of his earnings from branding and endorsements, he didn't touch his NFL salary during the early years of his career.

Gronk was one of three players who were the topics of discussion during the symposium. Dak Prescott and Odell Beckham were also used as examples of players who have been able to generate additional income from endorsements. Beckham, in particular, has been in the spotlight off the football field. He's appeared on the cover of Madden, and just signed a deal with NIke which is reportedly worth $25 million over five years with upwards of $48 million over eight years. His deal, which is a record for an NFL player, will pay him more than his contract with the Giants.

“A lot of people talk to the players about, ‘You should be careful with your money and you should treat your family this way and you should treat your girlfriend or your wife.’ Which is fine. I think that’s valuable,” Nassar said, via The Globe. “But we don’t often give them a chance to answer the question: How do you see yourself as a brand? Because Gronk, Odell, none of those guys accidentally ended up where they are from a branding and marketing standpoint.”

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL


Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”