6-8-05, 3 p.m.
Updated: 6-9-05, 6:30 a.m.
BY GEOFF HOBSON
All looked to be right in Bengaldom Wednesday as the smoke cleared from agent Drew Rosenhaus? first-strike missile. Indeed, even his client, Chad Johnson, seemed to hint that more money should be coming his way soon.
But in the wake of the Drew Doctrine that Johnson is ?sorely underpaid,? Johnson went to the microphones with the Declaration of Chad in assuring the populace that he won?t stage a holdout this season.
With fellow wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the next locker stage whispering to him, ?No comment,? Johnson talked (kind of) about the contract.
?My agent doesn?t run me, I run myself. He works for me,? Johnson said. ?If there was ever any type of holdout going on, it would be going on right now with all the others going on ... (No.) 85 ain?t going nowhere.?
Of course, that doesn?t mean Johnson isn?t carefully noting what his peers are making. He didn?t exactly disagree with Rosenhaus. And he has to only look at his head coach to know the Bengals have been known to reward success before contracts are up.
?I?m not sure,? said Johnson, when asked if he thinks he?s underpaid. ?I would like everyone to look at the numbers and see for yourself and understand where I am and you make the assumption about whether I?m underpaid or not. Don?t leave it on me.
?My play on the grass will take care of my pockets,? Johnson said. ?Those paid in the high bracket play at a high level like I play, My play will take care of itself. They will bless me upstairs. If it?s meant to be, if not, I just keep doing what I do.?
Probable translation: Come talk to me at the end of the season.
Johnson, who got a $26 million extension through 2009 during the 2003 season, is second in yards and third in catches in the NFL in the last two years. The only guy ahead of him in both categories is St. Louis? Torry Holt, scheduled to make $41.3 million over six years according to one salary survey.
Over the last two years, Johnson has more yards than Randy Moss ($75 million over eight years) and Marvin Harrison (seven years, $67 million), although he doesn?t have near the career numbers yet.
But the less said, the more the Bengals seem to do. In the late ?80s when Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason was NFL MVP, then assistant general manager Mike Brown quietly ripped up Esiason?s deal and gave him a new one that made him the NFL?s highest-paid quarterback for a time. heres the rest