Wide receiver Charles Johnson played 39 games for the Vikings between 2014 and 2016, but a knee injury kept him out after signing with the Panthers in 2017 and he failed to make the Jets out of camp in 2018.
Johnson said he “lost that love that I once had growing up and playing in high school and college” after those experiences, which may have been why he initially passed on an invitation to play for the Alliance of American Football. After hearing from former teammates who were enjoying the league, Johnson changed his mind and signed with the Arizona Hotshots.
His first two games have resulted in 233 receiving yards and the overall experience of playing in a new league is one that’s been enjoyable thus far.
“Everybody’s pretty much equal,” Johnson said, via the AAF’s website “There’s no politics in this situation. The NFL’s different. If you’re a first-round pick, if you’re not playing, that looks bad on the guys upstairs, so they’re going to make sure you’re out there playing. When you’re out here, they just want to see the best players out there, and win games.”
Continued success over the rest of the season may leave Johnson in position to decide whether he’s going to wade back into the NFL’s political pool for a shot at returning to the league in 2019.