Johnson to appeal suspension

Updated: October 30, 2009, 8:59 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Larry Johnson's appeal of his suspension by the Kansas City Chiefs will be filed on Friday, his agent, Peter Schaffer, told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The hearing on the suspension, which followed Johnson's criticism of coach Todd Haley on Twitter and twice using a gay slur -- once in a Twitter posting and again in front of reporters -- is expected to be held by Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the two sides are continuing to talk to see if they can find a way to bridge any differences to avoid the hearing.

Johnson has been suspended for conduct detrimental to the team through Nov. 9, meaning he will miss one game -- and about $600,000 in wages -- unless a deal is struck or the suspension is set aside on appeal.

Schaffer told ESPN.com's Bill Williamson on Friday evening the two sides are working toward a settlement that revolves around the lost wages. The agent said Johnson being cut by the Chiefs as part of the settlement "hasn't come up. That's not the goal."

When reached by the The Kansas City Star by phone Thursday night and asked whether he expects Johnson to play for the Chiefs again, Schaffer said, "Larry Johnson is a member of the Chiefs right now."

"The best-case scenario is we find a way to keep it positive," he said, according to the Star. "There's a lot of things in play, and nothing has been decided."

In 2007, Johnson signed a five-year contract extension that guaranteed him about $19 million and could be worth as much as $45 million. If the Chiefs released him, they would be on the hook for the rest of his 2009 contract, according to the Star.

Johnson, who needs just 75 yards to break the team's career rushing mark, first used the gay slur on his Twitter account in an exchange with one of his followers last weekend. Earlier, he had posted comments that called Haley's qualifications into question.

Then, in a whispered remark Monday after telling reporters in the locker room he was not talking, Johnson repeated the slur, according to the Star, which has posted audio of the alleged comment.

Johnson issued an apology on Tuesday, almost exactly 12 months after apologizing to the team and its fans and ownership for two incidents in Kansas City nightspots that led to his pleading guilty to disturbing the peace.

Those problems caused him to be benched for three games in 2008 and suspended by commissioner Roger Goodell for an additional game.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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