For the most part, it was a normal Saturday (April 7) in the NFL. With April in full roar, the free agency churn slowed down as teams began preparing more heavily for the draft at the end of the month. There weren't many talking points going around the league as The Masters and the last day of the NHL regular season took precedence. Then, seemingly out of thin air, a shot was fired across the aisle at the New England Patriots. At their fans, really. It came from none other than former NFL star running back Larry Johnson.

Patriots fans in the crosshairs

A cursory look at Johnson's Twitter account doesn't reveal any extreme dislike of the Patriots, nor does it reveal much football talk at all. The last time he posted anything related to the sport came a few days ago, when he retweeted a video from the NFL featuring draft prospect Saquon Barkley, an alum of Johnson's Penn State Nittany Lions. Still, this is what his Twitter profile posted on Saturday afternoon: "Patriot fans have been real quite, keep that s*** up.!"

Let's assume that he meant fans have been real "quiet" lately, instead of "quite." First off, is that really true?

Maybe they haven't been talking a lot, but it's been far from a quiet offseason for New England. Just this week, they dealt Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams and signed Jordan Matthews from the Buffalo Bills to replace Danny Amendola, who left in free agency. The real question, however, is what inspired that particular tweet from Johnson in that particular moment?

It seemed to come out of nowhere.

Johnson's history with the team

The two-time Pro Bowl running back only played against New England twice in his NFL career. He averaged 3.64 rushing yards per attempt in those games, scoring one touchdown. His teams went 1-1 in those contests, but that doesn't really explain the acrimony towards the team and their fans.

At one point, it seemed like Johnson could actually play for the team. In an ESPN blog dating back to 2009, reporters discussed the possibility of the team adding the star running back. It evidently didn't happen and he went on to sign with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Recently, Johnson has suggested that he's likely dealing with CTE, which can't be diagnosed in the living right now. Many believe that's what former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez dealt with at one point as well. Johnson has even admitted to forgetting large chunks of his NFL career.

This is significantly less serious, but Patriots fans won't let Larry Johnson easily forget this barb.