CHICAGO (AP) -Defensive tackle Tank Johnson doesn't blame the Chicago Bears for cutting him following his latest run-in with the law.
"They had supported me through thick and thin," Johnson told ESPN on Wednesday. "The Bears went to bat for me publicly and more so privately to help me get through this stuff. I put them in a very hard situation."
The Bears waived Johnson on June 25, three days after he was pulled over by police in Arizona. He already had been suspended for the first eight games of the upcoming season for violating probation on a gun charge that stemmed from a raid on his home. Johnson began serving a two-month jail term in March, and numerous teammates and staff members visited him during that time.
Johnson told reporters after the first day of minicamp on May 18 that he would become the NFL's Man of the Year. Any chance of that happening as a member of the Bears evaporated at 3:30 a.m. on June 22, when police in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert stopped him for driving 40 mph in a 25 mph zone.
He was released without charges after being taken to the police station, and test results in early July showed his blood alcohol level was .072 - under the presumptive limit for DUI in Arizona of .08 percent.
Johnson said it was fair for the Bears to release him before the results came back and that he made "a bad decision."
"You get home, get comfortable, you're around your family. 'OK, I'm leaving, going home.' Everyone's asking, 'Are you OK to drive?"' Johnson told ESPN. "You're like, 'I'm fine, I'm going home.' Sometimes, foolish pride gets in the way of making the right decision."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press