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Keyshawn Johnson

Johnson during his tenure with the Carolina Panthers
No. 19     
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: July 22, 1972 (1972-07-22) (age 37)
Place of birth: Los Angeles, California
Career information
College: Southern California
NFL Draft: 1996 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Debuted in 1996 for the New York Jets
Last played in 2006 for the Carolina Panthers
Career history
 As player:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2006
Receptions     818
Receiving yards     10,571
Touchdowns     64
Stats at

Joseph Keyshawn Johnson (born on July 22, 1972 in Los Angeles, California) is a former American football wide receiver, interior designer, business executive,author and current television broadcaster for sports channel ESPN. He retired from football on May 23, 2007 after an eleven-year career in the National Football League. He played for the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers. His college career was at the University of Southern California.


College career

Johnson played college football at the University of Southern California, where he played for John Robinson. While there, he was a two-time All-American selection. After the 1994 college season, Johnson helped lead the USC Trojans to a win in the 1995 Cotton Bowl Classic, after which he was named the game's Most Valuable Player. The Trojans then played in the 1996 Rose Bowl, during which Johnson caught 12 passes for a Rose Bowl record 216 yards and one touchdown in the Trojans' 41–32 victory over the Northwestern Wildcats. He was named the Player of the Game.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from USC in 1996.

He was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame on December 31, 2008.

Professional career


New York Jets

He spent the first few years of his professional career with the New York Jets, who drafted him with the top overall selection in the 1996 NFL Draft. He was the first wide receiver selected with the number one overall pick since Irving Fryar was chosen by New England in 1984. While in New York, he played three seasons (1997–1999) under Bill Parcells, who in two seasons would turnaround the Jets from 1-15 in 1996, Johnson's rookie year to 9-7 in 1997 & 12-4 in 1998 & the franchises first ever AFC East Division title. One of his best performances was in a 34–24 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in an AFC divisional playoff game after the 1998 season. In that game, Johnson caught nine passes for 121 yards and a touchdown, rushed for 28 yards and a touchdown, recovered a fumble, and intercepted a pass on defense. The Jets however, fell one game short of the Super Bowl after losing the AFC Championship Game the next week to the Denver Broncos 23-10. Johnson wrote an autobiography with ESPN's Shelbey Smith titled, "Just Give Me the Damn Ball." The book covered his rookie year experiences.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Johnson was traded on April 12, 2000 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two first round draft choices (12th - Shaun Ellis - and 27th - Anthony Becht - overall) in the 2000 NFL Draft.[1] Soon after Johnson arrived in Tampa Bay, they signed him to a 8-year, $56 million contract extension with the Buccaneers that made him the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL.[2] At that time, he was joining a team that fell one game short of the Super Bowl the previous season. However, in 2002 Johnson went on to win a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers after the arrival of new head coach Jon Gruden, who had succeeded Tony Dungy. However, his bitter relationship with Gruden led to his de-activation of the final 7 games of the 2003 season. It led to his eventual trade to the Dallas Cowboys the following off-season where he would be reunited with Bill Parcells, his coach while he was with the New York Jets.

Dallas Cowboys

The Bucs traded him on March 19, 2004 to the Dallas Cowboys for Joey Galloway, who the Cowboys had also traded two first round picks to acquire. Reunited with his former coach Bill Parcells, Johnson lived up to his advance billing for the Cowboys in 2004, leading the team in receiving yards and tying for the lead in touchdown catches while taking over a leadership role in the locker room and on the field.

Johnson was released by the Dallas Cowboys on March 14, 2006,

Carolina Panthers

On March 23, 2006, Johnson signed a four-year, $14-million-dollar deal with the Carolina Panthers. Of this, he was guaranteed a five million dollar signing bonus. He was expected to play opposite Steve Smith as the number two receiver.

During the Carolina Panthers' Monday Night Football game against the Buccaneers on November 13, 2006, Johnson became the first player in NFL history to score a touchdown on Monday Night Football with four different teams (Jets, Buccaneers, Cowboys and Panthers).

Johnson was fined $5,000 in December 2006 for throwing his helmet in rage during a 27-24 loss to the Eagles.

Johnson was released from the Panthers on May 1, 2007 after just one season with the team. He posted 70 receptions for 815 yards and four touchdowns in Carolina.

Ironically, his release from the Panthers came just three days after he suggested, when working as an analyst for ESPN at the 2007 NFL Draft, that the Panthers should draft a young wide receiver, which they did with the selection of Dwayne Jarrett. Johnson said on air that he was "excited to work with the young (Jarrett)."


On May 23, 2007, Johnson announced he was retiring from the NFL, reportedly turning down offers by several teams, including the Tennessee Titans. Titans' Head Coach Jeff Fisher, who became friends with Johnson while he played at USC, said he thought Johnson's numbers and production spoke for themselves: "He still played at a high-level last year. He takes very good care of himself," Fisher said. "He hasn't had any injuries per se. Anytime you get a chance to bring an experienced veteran in to add to your roster then it's a good thing." On the same day, Johnson announced he would be working as an analyst for ESPN.[3]

On February 5, 2008, CBS4 Miami reported that Bill Parcells reached out to Johnson. Parcells reportedly told him if he was to come out of retirement there would be a spot on the Miami Dolphins roster for him.[4]

His all-around game has earned him selection to the Pro Bowl three times - 1998 and 1999 with the N.Y. Jets and 2001 with Tampa Bay. Johnson finished his career with 814 receptions, tying him at 17th all-time with Henry Ellard for career NFL receptions. His 10,571 yards receiving is the 24th highest total in NFL history. In reaching the 600 career receptions plateau in 118 games, he tied Herman Moore for the second fewest number of games needed in NFL history to reach that mark, and he became one of only three players in league history (Moore and Marvin Harrison) to reach 600 receptions in fewer than 120 games. He caught 512 passes in his first 100 games to rank as the fourth most receptions in a player's first 100 games. The other three are: Marvin Harrison (591), Sterling Sharpe (524) and Lionel Taylor (516).

To achieve this production, he has averaged 74.8 catches-per-season over his first nine seasons, and caught a pass in every one of his 135 games played over this span. This accomplishment was the second longest streak among active receivers (Harrison, 139) and the third longest streak to begin a career among all players (Marshall Faulk, 158 and Harrison, 139) at that time. For his career, Johnson has recorded 60 or more catches in ten of his eleven NFL seasons. In 2001 and 2002, he became the first player in Buccaneers history to record consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons when he registered 1,266 yards in 2001 and 1,088 in 2002.

A durable player, Johnson missed only three of a possible 145 career games - including playoffs - due to injury.

Analyst on ESPN

Johnson was part of the 2007 NFL Draft broadcasting team with Chris Berman, Mel Kiper Jr. and Chris Mortensen that aired on ESPN. He become an ESPN analyst for Sunday NFL Countdown, and Monday Night Countdown. He has also been an analyst on several ESPN telecasts, including pre-game shows on Sundays and Monday nights, and some radio work as well. He was also an analyst on the ESPN Who's Now competition. He is currently hosting Jim Rome Is Burning while Jim Rome is away.

A&E Interior Design TV Series

In November 2008, Keyshawn Johnson was contracted for a weekend TV Series called "Keyshawn Johnson: Tackling Design".[5] The show was on A&E in July 2009 and showcases Johnson's knowledge of interior design to help other people redecorate their homes.

Investment business

Johnson co-founded First Picks Management in 2005 as a vehicle to pursue his business interests in the food service, hotel, and real estate industries as well as venture capital investing.[6] He recruited Harvard Business School MBAs Glenn Mah and Clarence Mah as well as his public relations and marketing agent Ingrid Roberts to co-lead the organization.[7] Johnson and his management team partnered with National Football League and National Basketball Association athletes including Warrick Dunn, Dennis Northcutt, Terence Newman and Joe Smith in developing the investment company.[8]

External Links


Preceded by
Ki-Jana Carter
1st Overall Pick in NFL Draft
Succeeded by
Orlando Pace


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