The arrest comes just over a month after Johnson married VH1 reality star Evelyn Lozada of the show "Basketball Wives."
The couple were sitting in a car in front of their house in Davie, about 20 miles north of Miami, and having an argument over a receipt for condoms that his wife found, said Davie Police spokesman Captain Dale Engle.
"The argument got pretty heated, to the point where she claims he leaned over and head-butted her," Engle told Reuters.
"He claims she leaned over to the point where they banged heads."
Lozada suffered a cut to the forehead and was treated at the scene and taken to a hospital, police said.
It was not immediately clear if Johnson has an attorney to represent him in the case.
He has been charged with domestic violence simple battery and will remain in jail until he can be brought before a judge on Sunday or Monday, Engle said.
Johnson, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, is a colourful wide receiver who formerly went by the name Ochocinco.
Before joining the Miami Dolphins in advance of the 2012 season, he played last season for the New England Patriots and 10 years before that for the Cincinnati Bengals.