American Football Database
Tank Johnson
No. --     Free Agent
Defensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1981-12-07) December 7, 1981 (age 40)
Place of birth: Gary, Indiana, USA
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Weight: 315 lb (143 kg)
Career information
College: Washington
NFL Draft: 2004 / Round: 2 / Pick: 47
Debuted in 2004 for the Chicago Bears
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2009
Tackles     125
Sacks     14.0
INTs     0
Stats at

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

He has also played for the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals.

Early years

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 career

Chicago Bears

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.[2] The request was granted, and he played in the game, recording four tackles, assisting on another, and getting a half-sack.[3] On May 16, Johnson met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to determine punishment for his off-the-field transgressions,[4] 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, after another run in with the law, the Chicago Bears waived Johnson, ending his three-year tenure with the team.[5]

Dallas Cowboys

After being released from the Bears, Jerry Jones showed interest in signing Johnson.[6] The two shortly came to terms, though Johnson was forced to miss eight games because of his suspension.[7] He returned to the field on November 11, during a game against the New York Giants. In the game, Johnson recorded three solo tackles, and a single sack.

Cincinnati Bengals

Johnson signed with Cincinnati Bengals on April 7, 2009.[8] 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 August 16, 2011.

Legal troubles

In November 2005, Johnson was arrested at the Excalibur nightclub in Chicago for possession of a handgun in his sport utility vehicle. Illinois law dictates that "It is unlawful to carry or possess any firearm in any vehicle or concealed on or about the person, except on one’s land or in one’s [home] or fixed place of business."[9] Illinois is the only U.S. state that does not issue Concealed Carry Permits. Johnson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge and was sentenced to 18 months probation and 40 hours of community service.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12] Although Johnson was at football practice during the search, his bodyguard William 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.[13]

On December 16, 2006, Johnson's best friend and bodyguard William 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 1:30am. Posey's assailant was not immediately apprehended.[14] 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.[15] On December 30, 2006, Tank Johnson contacted Gurnee Police Department to file harassment charges.[16] 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.[17] On February 8, 2007, Johnson entered a guilty plea in Cook County's Courthouse in Skokie for violating his probation.[18] 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.[19] On March 15, 2007, Johnson was sentenced to a 120 days in Cook County Jail and fined $2,500 for violating his probation.[20] Johnson entered a plea of not guilty on 10 counts of possessing a weapon without the proper state-required ID.[21]

On April 30, Johnson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor weapons charge as part of an arrangement with prosecutors that will keep him from serving additional jail time. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail, which was served concurrently with a four-month sentence he's 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.[22] While he was in jail, many of his teammates and coaches, including Brian Urlacher, Rex Grossman, and Lovie Smith visited Johnson.[23] His release from jail on May 13 ended his legal problems from the December 2006 weapons incident.[24] The league ultimately suspended Johnson for half of the regular season on June 4.[25]

On June 22, Johnson was pulled over for speeding in Gilbert, Arizona. According to the police, he was stopped by 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.[26] 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.[27] 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.[28]

See also


  1. "Tank's family shocked by recent developments". Retrieved 2006-12-21.
  2. "Bears' Tank Johnson can travel to Super Bowl". Archived from the original on 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2007-08-04.
  3. "Super Bowl XLI Box Score". Super Archived from the original on 2007-07-17. Retrieved 2007-08-04.
  4. "Bears' Tank Johnson meets with Goodell". Archived from the original on 2007-05-19. Retrieved 2007-05-16.
  5. Mayer, Larry. "Bears say goodbye to troubled defensive tackle". Retrieved 2007-08-04.
  6. The Dallas Morning News, Cowboys bring in Tank Johnson for physical, Retrieved 18 September 2007
  7. "Suspended defensive tackle Tank Johnson signs contract with Dallas Cowboys". Yahoo! Sports. 2007-09-18.;_ylt=ArJGVzJ6Rt6FqLnqwz5QCHhDubYF?slug=ap-cowboys-tankjohnson&prov=ap&type=lgns. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  8. Retrieved on 2009-04-07.
  9. Illinois gun laws (PDF)
  10. "Another Bears distraction: Tank charged". Retrieved 2006-12-20.[dead link]
  11. ""Tank" Johnson In Trouble with the Law Again". Retrieved 2006-12-20.
  12. "Tank Johnson Charged After Police Raid Home". Retrieved 2007-07-30.
  13. "Tank Johnson Charged After Police Raid Home". Retrieved 2006-12-20.
  14. "Police: Man Harassed 'Tank' Prior To Bodyguard's Shooting". Retrieved 2006-12-20.
  15. "Tank Johnson gets home confinement".;_ylt=AlIemTJ8qeImr7Jco7QwvB9DubYF?slug=ap-bears-johnson&prov=ap&type=lgns. Retrieved 2006-12-22.
  16. Tank Johnson Pleads Not Guilty To Gun Charges
  17. Tank questioned in slaying
  18. "Tank Johnson Pleads Guilty On Probation Violation". Archived from the original on 2007-03-14. Retrieved 2007-02-08.
  19. Lawyer Asks That Tank Johnson's Charges Be Dropped
  20. CBS Chicago, Tank Johnson Sentenced To 120 Days In Jail Retrieved on March 15, 2007
  21. Bears' Johnson Begins Time At Cook County Jail
  22. Tank Johnson Pleads Guilty, Avoids More Jail Time
  23. Bears showing concern for Tank
  24. Bears' Tank Johnson To Be Released Sunday
  25., NFL announces Tank Johnson suspension, Retrieved on June 4, 2007
  26. Yahoo! Sports, Tank Johnson stopped by police in Phoenix suburb Retrieved on June 22, 2007
  27. Yahoo! Sports, Bears waive suspended Tank Johnson Retrieved on June 25, 2007
  28. Associated Press, Tank Johnson under legal limit in DUI arrest (July 2, 2007), Yahoo! Sports, Retrieved on July 2, 2007.

External links