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Old 10-23-2007, 10:35 AM   #1
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Default Trade Chad? Lewis won't say

Trade Chad? Lewis won't say
But Bengals star WR doesn't count out the possibility
BY MARK CURNUTTE


If the Bengals are thinking about trading Chad Johnson this offseason - as was reported over the weekend by ESPN - coach Marvin Lewis isn't tipping his hand.

On ESPN's pregame show Sunday, NFL reporter Chris Mortensen said that a "prominent member of the Bengals organization recently told me that the organization does have a decision to make on Chad Johnson, that he is so passionate and proud that if they decided to discipline him for some of those antics they believe he might shut it down.

"So how he finishes the rest of the year and the Bengals finish could bring them to a crossroads discussion on whether to even trade Chad Johnson in the offseason."

At his Monday news conference, less than 24 hours after the Bengals defeated the Jets 38-31, Lewis didn't directly answer this question: Is there any truth to reports you might be looking to trade Chad Johnson?

"Did that come from anyone here?" said Lewis, who is the Bengals' "one voice," per team policy, to the media.

Told by a reporter that ESPN cited an official inside the Bengals organization, Lewis said, "Is there a source inside this organization? Not the last time I checked. I don't think there (are) any sources inside this organization."

Did ESPN talk to you?

"No."

Johnson, chased down Monday by a half-dozen reporters in the players' parking lot adjacent to Paul Brown Stadium, didn't snuff out trade talk.

"There is always truth in something," Johnson said when asked about the report.

Johnson actually has been more low-key on the field than in previous seasons. True, he slipped on a homemade hall of fame jacket after a touchdown in the opener Sept. 10 and jumped into Cleveland's Dawg Pound on Sept. 16.

Since then, Johnson has largely been quiet, but there have been some other incidents.

During the Oct. 1 Bengals-Patriots game, Johnson and quarterback Carson Palmer were caught on national television arguing after an interception. Two weeks later, Palmer confronted Johnson on the field following another interception, leading to questions about whether Johnson ran the correct route.

After the convincing loss to New England, Lewis said some of his players needed to be less selfish and more mature and team-oriented.

Those comments were connected immediately to Johnson, based on the receiver's on-field behavior during the loss.

Now comes the report of a possible trade.

"It doesn't bother me. There is always truth to things that are said," Johnson said. "Always, there's always some truth to it."

Would you be surprised to be traded?

"No. No. Exactly, that's the business part of it," he said. "That wouldn't surprise me."

Johnson's contract might make a trade financially difficult for the Bengals. Johnson signed a minimum one-year extension in April 2006 that added a year to Johnson's contract, through 2010, and gave the Bengals an option for 2011.

Johnson was paid a $5 million signing bonus and a $5 million base salary for 2006. The Bengals have through 2010 to absorb $1 million per year of his signing bonus on their salary cap. If they traded him after the 2007 season, the Bengals would have to absorb the remaining $3 million on the cap in 2008.

Johnson's salary cap number this year is $7.515 million, the fourth largest on the team - behind Palmer ($13.48 million), defensive end Justin Smith ($8.64 million) and right offensive tackle Willie Anderson ($7.85 million).

Johnson has been stung by the comments that he is a selfish player and negatively affecting his team in the locker room.

Lewis defended his receiver Monday.

"He set out this year to block better. I'm very happy with that," Lewis said of Johnson. "And he's seen the ball get spread out more, and he's had no issue with that. He knows that in order for him to have the success he's having, we need to be able to do other things correctly.

"The biggest thing we continue to try to impress upon our guys ... is that the opportunities we want come from making first downs. If we don't convert on third down, I've told them, none of you are getting any shots at anything."

Johnson was stung, too, he said, after reading an Oct. 21 Enquirer column by Paul Daugherty questioning whether Johnson's antics were worth the trouble.

"And to write what he wrote (Sunday), which I'm sure all of you saw, you've got to be kidding. You've got to be kidding me. You've got to be kidding me. It is what it is," Johnson said of Daugherty, who wrote a book about Johnson last year.

"Everything I've done has always been positive, it's always been fun. It's never been a me, me, me thing. It's how Chad plays the game. ... I've been playing it the same way the past four years. I celebrate. I have fun with it. It is a dirty business. And to get the business side of it off my mind, I go out and have fun with it like I'm a little kid."

Johnson is having a solid season. He said he and fellow wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh were praised for their downfield blocking in the Jets game, when the Bengals ran for a season-high 177 yards. Johnson had six receptions against the Jets, and gained 102 yards, including a team long 56-yard catch. Johnson has 680 yards and three touchdown catches. Still, as a speed receiver, Johnson will turn 30 in January - an age when receivers often start to lose a step.

Johnson doesn't appear worried, if he should be traded, that he wouldn't be welcomed elsewhere.

"You know what's funny, every player - you've got 31 teams in the NFL beside us - every player, every coach loves 85," he said in reference to his jersey number. "I guarantee that. Every coach and every player would love to have 85 on their team because they know what I bring to the table."
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Trade Chad? Lewis won't say

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Still, as a speed receiver, Johnson will turn 30 in January - an age when receivers often start to lose a step.
kirwan has some recent research that shows this to be untrue. it is the rb's who tend to lose a step after 30. one should have no problem of extending the contract of a wr who is 30, and feel confident they will get 4-5 more solid years. t.o., moss, harrison havent lost a step.

the bengals are just lucky houshmangobbler has vowed to stay silent about his current contract and not make a fuss. i think his deal was less than the $2 mil/year c. wilson is making. by all rights, he could hold out and pull a deion branch. the bengals may be seeing that they gotta chose 1 or the other. chris henry will replace chad. henry has pissed away the opportunity for a big payday so the bengals know they can keep him on the cheap.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: Trade Chad? Lewis won't say

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"It's never been a me, me, me thing. It's how Chad plays the game."
Enough said....

While talking about himself in the third person.
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: Trade Chad? Lewis won't say

Trading Chad after this season is unrealistic...the cap hit would be too great because it's so early into his contract and who knows if Chris Henry is going to keep staying out of trouble?
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: Trade Chad? Lewis won't say

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Trading Chad after this season is unrealistic...the cap hit would be too great because it's so early into his contract and who knows if Chris Henry is going to keep staying out of trouble?
Great point....Henry's future with the team isnt reliable enough to take that type of chance. As a native to Cincy...is the general feeling that this is a ploy to get Chad focused?
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Trade Chad? Lewis won't say

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Originally Posted by lamberts-lost-tooth View Post
.

On ESPN's pregame show Sunday, NFL reporter Chris Mortensen said that a "prominent member of the Bengals organization recently told me that the organization does have a decision to make on Chad Johnson, that he is so passionate and proud that if they decided to discipline him for some of those antics they believe he might shut it down.
Sort of like how Randy Moss was so "passionate and proud" that he shut it down in Oakland to force a trade?

What in the world pride has to do with responding to discipline by taking the rest of the season off escapes me.

The Bengals created this mess and now it probably is beyond fixing without a new HC.

Of course Chad & Housh quite possibly will torch the Steelers on Sunday and all will be forgiven - winning fixes everything.
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: Trade Chad? Lewis won't say

Excellent point CS85. If Chris Henry can keep his nose clean, he can replace Johnson as a speed reciever. However there is no gaurantee that even if he keeps his nose clean, he'll be reinstated. The Sheriff seems to have no problen not reinstating people.

The other thing about it is, would anyone out there want Chad Johnson right now? After seeing how he'd been with Palmer arguing, his antics on the field, his big mouth, his off the fiend (however football related) antics.

That's a lot of garbage to put up with.

The Patriots would take him, but I don't know how much he'd want to share time with Moss, Stalworth, and Welker.

Steelers don't want him. We're fine with what we have. I don't see you guys trading him to a division rival anyways, so that takes the Browns and Ravens out of it.

Possibly San Fransisco. Alex Smith needs a real playmaker at WR and CJ would be it. Ryan dealt with big personalities in Baltimore with Ray Lewis and Jamal Lewis.

I don't see the Bills doing it.

Oakland? I can see them doing it. Cullpepper to Johnson...and then eventually Russell to Johnson.
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Trade Chad? Lewis won't say

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Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post

What in the world pride has to do with responding to discipline by taking the rest of the season off escapes me.
.
Personal Pride at the expense of your team= Selfishness..pure and simple.
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: Trade Chad? Lewis won't say

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The other thing about it is, would anyone out there want Chad Johnson right now? After seeing how he'd been with Palmer arguing, his antics on the field, his big mouth, his off the fiend (however football related) antics.

That's a lot of garbage to put up with.

The Patriots would take him, but I don't know how much he'd want to share time with Moss, Stalworth, and Welker.
.
Just as every criminal defense attorney compares his client's situation to that of the Duke lacrosse players who were wrongly prosecuted, every agent who represents a head case player is going to say for the next several years that his player's situation is like that of Randy Moss and that all that is needed is a change of scenery for the malcontent. And the fact that Moss is having such a great year is going to make teams like the Bengals gun shy about dumping a talent they believe might be redeemed.
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Trade Chad? Lewis won't say

moss and stallworth are 1 year lease-a-players. all chad has to do is say he'll play next year for a million less than moss or stallworth to get a shot at a ring. it could be moss, johnson, and welker next year for the pats. sad thing is the patriots could probably get the bungles to buckle and accept a 6th rounder for him.

chad can also replace terry glenn in dallas and line up along side t.o. both of these are unlikely, but depending on how successful the patriots prove to be this season, alot of teams could line up if he was on the block.
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