chad johnson*Alright, alright, let the man get a chance to say his piece before you throw rocks.

Chad Johnson has fallen very hard since his whole life seemed to have blown up in his face.

And the typically jovial and confident former NFL star is feeling the pain.

He opened up for the first time in an interview with Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.” (scroll down to watch)

“I lost two things that I love: football and being married. Being a husband, being a lover was an honor. And I lost that. They have that saying, ‘You never know what you have until it’s gone.’ And now I finally know what they mean.”

As cliché as it sounds, the man learned a hard lesson.

He’s now attempting to get his life back in order and will be taking anger management classes. But the mountain before him is a tall one to climb.

“I take full responsibility for everything. Always will. Always have. Where do I go from here? I gotta work on Chad. Chad has to work on Chad. Chad has to go deep down inside and figure out where you went wrong,” he proclaimed. “At what point did you lose focus on what’s most important–especially the game of football. There was a time where, when I touched that field Sunday, you knew what time it was. At some point, I had drifted off track away from that.”

Give him a break right? The man is really hurt and is being a man about the situation, now. He’s admitted his faults and is taking steps to be a better person.

In the meantime, he hasn’t not spoken to Evelyn since the altercation, saying there’s nothing to be said at this point. It’s action time.

Good for him. We sincerely hope he’s the changed man he says he is.

And maybe … just maybe the reason he felt even more comfortable speaking out was because he knew he’s not going to jail for his deed against Evelyn.

Sources close to Chad tell TMZ, the unemployed wide receiver agreed to be placed on probation and complete extensive anger management counseling … in exchange for either a guilty or no contest plea.

Chad also agreed to a no-contact order that would block him from talking to Evelyn.  Under the deal, Chad will not serve a day behind bars.

A hearing has been scheduled for today, Friday, during which a judge is expected to sign off on the deal and make it official.