Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

22 Apr 2008

Bengals Reject Offer for Chad Johnson

ESPN reports that Cincinnati declined an offer from the Redskins of a first-round pick and a conditional pick in 2009 (third-round rising to first based on performance) for disgruntled wideout Chad Johnson.

Choice quote from Marvin Lewis during the same press conference:
"I think he's a man of his word and says he's not going to play, so don't play."

Looks like both sides are digging in here, which means this story could run and run. Both Lewis and Johnson are likely to have cause to regret recent remarks - the coach is making it harder for his best wideout to climb down and come back, the player is making the team more reluctant to trade him. Can't we all just get along?

Posted by: Stuart Fraser on 22 Apr 2008

44 comments, Last at 25 Apr 2008, 6:01pm by Kellerman

Comments

1
by Peter (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 6:47pm

I can't believe that:

a) The Redskins made that offer
b) The Bengals turned it down.

Jeez.

2
by James, London (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 6:48pm

I know they want to make a point, but WTF are the Bengals doing?

3
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 6:51pm

Chad Johnson is 30 years old. If you're a team that isn't in serious win-now mode, you take a first and a 3rd+ for any disgruntled thirty-year-old non-QB. Period.

4
by Jon (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 6:59pm

I don't really understand this trend of overrating draft picks. The Bengals are not going to be a better team this year without Johnson, and they're unlikely to find any players as good in the draft.

Their best course of action is to not blink and force him to be a Bengal once again this season.

5
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 7:02pm

4: You have to pay a veteran far, far more, and while Johnson might be better for the next few years, he won't be better for all that long. Furthermore, he's totally making a huge mess and being difficult.

It's not just about which has more talent, Johnson or two draft picks. It's about youth, cap money, and cohesion. All of those things favor the trade.

6
by Bobman (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 7:14pm

I wonder if Carson Palmer is behind the team's refusal to deal 85.... I mean, they're looking a little like the Yankees now, hanging on to an older, very talented guy with a lot of baggage, in lieu of younger prospects. Then again the way that have drafted recently, maybe they figure if he's out of jail, they better hang on to him.

Maybe this is their way of saying "we think we suck at drafting." A bit of a head-scratcher.

7
by Rex Grossman: Eyebrows of DOOM!! (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 7:43pm

On behalf of Bengals fans everywhere--mother of god, is Mike Brown stupid. Let's just hope that he's just holding out for something better (hopefully through an NFC East bidding war) on draft day.

8
by Insancipitory (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 7:44pm

I don't know, I think if you're Chad, and all you do is go out and perform, but because you don't play defense, and you have fun when you're on the field, all of a sudden the organization is saying "It's you're fault we're not winning more game. All together now, everyone blame Chad." maybe a change of venue is something worth pursuing. If the Bengals want to keep him so bad, why to they so desperately wish he was someone else?

9
by Marxist (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 7:52pm

I agree with Stuart; this whole thing seems to have turned into a ridiculously counterproductive contest of wills. Johnson feels (correctly) that he's been unfairly singled out for criticism, and Lewis feels (correctly) that Johnson cares more about gratifying his ego than helping his team. Since this boils down to a clash of personalities, it would be nice if someone here was capable of acting like an adult. Usually that person is supposed to be the coach, but it doesn't seem to be happening.

10
by Dave (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 7:54pm

I'm inclined to take this as rumor. There's no way the Bengals would decline that offer. Heck, I'm not sure there's a reciever in the NFL that's worth more than two first round picks.

11
by Tom D (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 8:00pm

It sounds to me like Lewis making an example of Chad in a effort to regain control of his team.

12
by Stuart Fraser :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 8:06pm

10 - check the link.

"Once I actually read what was reported, I have to be truthful and say that the story is accurate," Lewis told ESPN. "Unfortunately, I didn't read it until after our press conference."

It's a pretty solid rumor when the source is the head coach of the organization in question, speaking on-record.

13
by Carlos (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 8:11pm

Stuart nailed it. Time and again I'm stunned by the insistence of supposedly smart men on demeaning others in the press -- others with whom they need to work and where mutual success depends on allowing those others a way out while saving face.

Meanwhile, the Skins are just stupid enough to offer a #1 and a #3, 2 or 1 for a 30 year old receiver, but who knew the Bengals were stupid enough to turn it down?

For reference, here are the last dozen 21st picks:
Reggie Nelson
Laurence Maroney
Matt Jones
Vince Wilfork
Jeff Faine
Daniel Graham
Nate Clements
Sylvester Morris (WR, Chiefs)
LJ Shelton
Randy Moss
Renaldo Wynn
Pete Kendall

You know, that's a shockingly good list. It might even be better than the last dozen #1 overall picks straight-up, much less cost-adjusted.

Actually it is better than the last dozen #1 overall picks, but it's tough to compare since so many of them were QBs:
JaMarcus Russell
Mario Williams
Alex Smith
Eli Manning
Carson Palmer
David Carr
Michael Mike Vick
Courtney Brown
Tim Couch
Peyton Manning
Orlando Pace
Keyshawn Johnson

14
by Kyle, Louisville (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 8:26pm

If Johnson is traded, the Bengals have to clear $8M in cap room to take the hit. This has to be the only reason they turned down the Redskins.

15
by Oldcat (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 8:42pm

#9 How is expecting a player, given one of the top three best contracts in the NFL for his position a few years ago, to live up to his contract being childish? Chad agreed to play for the Bengals till 2011. Letting him go for nothing, and taking a major cap hit in return is crazy. And ask Chris Perry and David Pollack how much value a 1st round pick can give to a team.

Chad's already gotten his payday for the contract with his bonus. The Bengals are still paying for it, and don't want him playing against them on their dime.

16
by Harris (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 8:47pm

PFT did a breakdown of how that $8 million isn't quite as bad as it sounds, but I don't think this is about money any more -- it's become a dick contest. The Bengals are better off trading him, especially for this kind of outlandish offer; he's better off shutting up and playing. Neither will do that because they have to break the other and prove who has the bigger dick.

The Bengals have more to lose. Moss and T.O. have proved a player can quit on (or destroy) one team, perform well in a new city and eventually get paid, but Johnson's trade value will never be higher than it is now. The Bungles should have taken the deal.

17
by Alex (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 10:40pm

#9 How is expecting a player, given one of the top three best contracts in the NFL for his position a few years ago, to live up to his contract being childish? Chad agreed to play for the Bengals till 2011.

His contract did not, as far as I know, include any clause stating that in the event of a losing season, Chad agreed to be the scapegoat for the team's sh*tty defense, while he was playing better than almost any other receiver in the league. Sorry, but you can't suddenly start publicly blaming all of your problems on a guy who's playing extremely well, and then act surprised that he refuses to keep playing for you. Chad signed a contract to be a wide receiver, not a whipping boy. His job description does not include, "accept undue criticism when things go wrong, so that coach's continued failure to field a competent defense is less visible."

Maybe if Marvin Lewis concentrated on improving his clusterf*ck of a defense, the team would make the playoffs, and nobody would need to find someone to blame for the team's failures. But no, he's too busy driving away his offensive talent to do that. I guess the offense will meet the defense in mediocrity* in a few years. Wow, so much to look forward to.

Now the Bengals are either going to have to trade him away and take a cap hit, or risk having him sit on the bench all year. What really annoys me is that all of this could have been avoided so easily. They didn't have to give him more money, he wasn't doing what TO did to the Eagles. If Marvin Lewis had just told the media and fans to stop blaming everything on Chad, if he'd just given Chad a little vote of confidence, this whole headache would have been averted. What would that take, a few minutes of a press conference? A few sentences? Oh, but then people would blame the defense, and by extension, Marvin Lewis. Can't have that. Pass the buck to the loudmouth receiver, all the old timers hate him already for his end zone shenanigans, so you can just let him take the heat for your incompetence.

*I'm charitably assuming that Marvin Lewis can get the Bengals defense up to mediocrity by then.

18
by The McNabb Bowl Game Anomaly (aka SJM) (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 11:09pm

As a Redskins fan, let me repeat the sentiment already expressed here that the Bengals were crazy to turn them down and the Skins are very very lucky they did.

Chad Johnson is 30. 30! No 30 year old is worth more than a first in trade unless he's an elite QB. That's it. This offer is a classic Redskins blunder. Good thing it involved the Cincinnati Bungles, who are too inept to pull it off.

19
by Daniel (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 11:09pm

So the problem Chad has with the Bengals is that Marvin Lewis didn't tell the press to stop picking on him and blame the defense instead? The guy is 30 years old and he gets paid a lot of money to play football. Who gives a s**t what the press thinks? And I don't think the press was blaming him for all the team's troubles. They blamed him for messing up his adjustments on his routes. There were several times this year when it was obvious that Carson Palmer expected him to be in a certain spot and he was not there. Guys on losing teams that mess up their assignments should not be worried about performing their next end zone celebration or if the coach is disrespecting them by not sticking up for his B.S. in the media.

20
by lionsbob (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 11:12pm

Vikings get Jared Allen. I am sure Lions and Bears fans are excited about this (hell neither should Packer fans).

Lets see how Allen does now with the Williams duo on his inside instead of Alfonso Boone and Ron Edwards.

21
by Dev (not verified) :: Tue, 04/22/2008 - 11:20pm

Re #13:

Great post, Carlos!

Re Alex:
I am amused by your passionate defense of Chad. Professional football players, imho, focus on the game rather than anyone's opinion of them.

22
by Alex (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 1:03am

So the problem Chad has with the Bengals is that Marvin Lewis didn’t tell the press to stop picking on him and blame the defense instead?

In a nutshell, yes. When one of your best players is being vilified by the media, and you're in press conferences every week, you should find the time at one of them to say something positive about him to keep him from feeling like a pariah. That's not asking too much of a coach. And when the defense really is the reason the team is losing, then the coach should be willing to take a little heat for not getting the defense working right.

The guy is 30 years old and he gets paid a lot of money to play football. Who gives a s**t what the press thinks?

Chad does. Maybe he shouldn't, but he does care what people think of him. Money doesn't buy approval, and approval is something that Chad wants. If he can't get it, making lots of money doesn't matter.

And I don’t think the press was blaming him for all the team’s troubles. They blamed him for messing up his adjustments on his routes. There were several times this year when it was obvious that Carson Palmer expected him to be in a certain spot and he was not there.

Then where was all the criticism in previous years? Do you seriously think he didn't mess up his adjustments on his routes in previous years? Is there any WR in the NFL who doesn't ever do that? He was having a career year, so you can't act like they were criticizing him for getting worse.

Sorry, but he was being blamed for being on a losing team, and that wasn't his fault.

Professional football players, imho, focus on the game rather than anyone’s opinion of them.

Well, sure, if he were ROBO-WR, he'd never mess up an adjustment on a route, he'd never drop a pass, he'd block well, and he'd remain serene and emotionless when people in the media said bad things about him. If the Bengals can trade Chad Johnson for ROBO-WR, they should definitely do so (although I'm pretty sure Jerry Rice is retired).

Barring that, they're going to have to accept that their players have flaws. Chad's happen to include a fragile ego and the need for approval that goes along with it. Now, ideally, he wouldn't care so much, and he'd just keep on playing regardless. But nobody's perfect. And if all it takes to continue getting elite level production from your WR (instead of a huge headache for your team) is an occasional word of praise in a press conference, then isn't that worth it?

I agree that Chad is not blameless in all this. He shouldn't care so much what people say about him. But Marvin Lewis knew that Chad did care, and he could've taken a few simple steps to prevent this whole fiasco from happening.

23
by langsty (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 1:45am

I don't really buy that the Bengals were crazy to turn this down - a late first rounder and a third for maybe the second most important player on your team? Nuh uh. I think the Bengals understand that they can only win games in one way right now (with explosive offense) and they would be neutering that one thing they've got going for them by getting rid of CJ. He IS 30 years old (I can't believe Chad Johnson is already 30, btw) but it seems to me that elite wide receivers can play comfortably into their early-mid 30s; meaning, it wouldn't surprise me at all if he was still playing at a very high level in his age 34 season. Especially considering how advanced his skillset is.

Anyway, Johnson's current contract is perfect for the Bengals, locking him up for the prime years of his (and his QB's) playing career. If I were in the front office, I think I would understand that CJ is just a passionate guy who's frustrated with the constant losing (and the culture of losing, and the seeming ineptitude on the parts of the people who are supposed to be putting the Bengals in a position to win consistently), but I'd probably take the "eh, he'll come around" approach; I mean, if you're a GM or owner or coach, you clearly believe that the work you're doing will pave the way for success on the football field, to which Chad Johnson can be an integral contributor. It's the kind of conflict that could possibly be resolved simply by WINNING, which is what the front office is clearly banking on.

24
by Penrose 10,000 (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 3:05am

This Redskins fan wishes the Redskins successfully pulled off this trade. I don't know why the Bengals would trade him, and I don't believe he's pissed about anything a few wins won't fix, but I wish the Redskins could have traded those two draft picks for him. I say win now and worry about the future later!

25
by old (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 5:09am

What is in the water in Cincinnati? The team was terrible for years, laughingstock terrible, then they finally get a few players, lose a play-off game, then self-destruct with the prima donna wide receiver and coach having a battle of egos. Hell of a way to run a rail road unless you want the train to come off the tracks.

Having said all that, I could see the Bengals pass on draft picks, they used to not even have a scouting department due to the cheapness of ownership.

26
by Stereochemistry (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 8:05am

Chad is upset that Marvin Lewis didn't stick up for him in a press conference? I mean, I understand that Lewis' silence could be a sign of disrespect, but it's not like he took a swing at him.

27
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 8:15am

Re: 23

If you think there's a reasonable chance that Chad is bluffing and will come back and make a professional effort for Cincy, then your position makes some sense. I don't think there's much chance of that, so at this point the best the Bengals can do is get the best they can for him in trade.

If Johnson does show up he's likely to cause trouble and/or give a half-hearted effort. It's really unfair to the Bengals but they don't have much choice. Their current posture is simply counter-productive.

Re: 22

Bengal management never publicly blamed Chad for their problems. He did get a lot of criticism in the media and from fans, but that's what happens to 'look at me' guys when teams are disappointing. The Bengals have tried to discourage Chad from the theatrical stuff though never publicly. To expect them to then publicly deflect heat from Johnson (that is brought on by his own decision to ignore their advice) doesn't make much sense.

Unless he changes his style, Johnson is going to get criticism while on any team that struggles.

28
by crack (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 8:41am

I'm siding with the Bengals. Everyone talks about how much value they'd get in the trade and how they are just screwing the franchise for personal reasons. I think they miss the value of the precedence. If you allow a player to whine his way out of a contract you are inviting others to try the same thing. Showing Drew Rosenhaus that his whine away modus operandi won't work there is nearly invaluable. I wouldn't trade it for back to back low first rounders.

29
by Ryan Mc (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 9:04am

re 17: wow, that's really melodramatic. Pretty much everybody starts with defense when talking about Cincy's problems.

Chad came in for criticism last season because he made a lot of mistakes. The numbers were all there, but his head often was not: dropped TD passes versus SanFran and Buffalo which had a huge impact on those games, not getting out of bounds versus Cleveland before the end of the half, costing the team a FG try, running out of bounds for a 14 yard gain on 4th-and-17 versus the Steelers etc. etc.

Chad deserved the criticism he got. Everybody gets criticised when they make mistakes.

30
by Pete (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 9:21am

I believe elite WR have more durability to play at a high level than RB. I also believe that Chad Johnson is at least the 2nd best/most important player for Cincinatti. Palmer is consistently good, but I think he has had good WR and OL and RB play for most of his carreer.

I guess the question for me would be:
Is Cincinatti trying to win now (are they going to beat Indy AND New England AND San Diego this year or next)? If they see this happening, they should absolutely keep 85 rather than trade him as above. If they see a need for multiple pieces to improve then they may need to get more draft picks.

Is Chad Johnson a big draw for the fans (sales and tickets)? That was part of why Atlanta blundered into overpaying for Michael Vick. (draft pick, initial contract, and especially 2nd contract)

31
by TomHat (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 10:00am

My thought process had 3 steps.

1) this is a terrible trade assuming the cap situation is similar to how it is now.

2) however this may turn out to be one of those Raiders deals that might look better a few years down the road if they get rid of the cap, or just massively raise the cap. I mean, honestly I think the redskins are the yankees of the NFL. An owner who will throw money at anything and a fanbase that has caused every game to be sold out since the 1960s. The reason why this is a bad trade is because in the NFL these days its all about getting players for less than they are worth, and first round picks are many times exactly that. However if the cap gets dropped, the redskins wont care about that very much because it will be about getting the best players, not necessarily the best cheap players.

3) im still glad we didnt do the trade because I think Chad Johnson is annoying. and the trade still might end up being a crappy trade if the cap is still as major of a factor a few years down the road.

32
by Alex (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 10:17am

Chad is upset that Marvin Lewis didn’t stick up for him in a press conference? I mean, I understand that Lewis’ silence could be a sign of disrespect, but it’s not like he took a swing at him.

Touche. I suppose if the rumors that Chad really did take a swing at Marvin back at halftime of the playoff game are true, then that would kind of explain why Marvin's not going out of his way to be nice to Chad. Still, they all said those rumors were false.

The Bengals have tried to discourage Chad from the theatrical stuff though never publicly. To expect them to then publicly deflect heat from Johnson (that is brought on by his own decision to ignore their advice) doesn’t make much sense.

Fair enough. I get that Chad is also to blame for bringing so much attention to himself, and really, it be nice if he didn't, but would it kill Marvin Lewis to go out on a limb a bit to keep his best receiver happy (while perhaps privately bringing it to his attention that his shenanigans are one of the causes of all the criticism)? I mean, maybe Chad doesn't deserve to be given any public vote of confidence, but from the perspective of the team, if that's all it takes to avoid this debacle, why wouldn't you do it?

Is Cincinatti trying to win now (are they going to beat Indy AND New England AND San Diego this year or next)?

Well, if the Giants could beat Dallas AND Green Bay AND New England, on the road, then I think the Bengals have a chance at doing something similar. A very small chance, maybe, but enough that it's worth trying.

33
by McGaytrain (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 10:30am

Active WRs 30+ as of today: Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson, Joey Galloway, Plaxico Burress, Tory Holt, Hines Ward, Derrick Mason, Donald Driver.

Some are less good than others, but all have been productive over age 29, and most have been very productive over age 29.

34
by DD Ohio (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 11:59am

#28 mentions the real villain in this affair: Drew Rosenhaus. Some of what’s happened with Chad does date back to last season: criticism for the in-game gaffes, the on-field squabbling with Carson Palmer, Chad bruised at being called out on his me-first antics by one of the city’s sports columnists.
But much of what’s happened since has just been Chad following the Drew Rosenhaus Playbook for Getting Traded or Getting a New ContractTM. Case in point, Chad first says he's pissed, he’ll only show up when he has to for training camp, but he’s not showing up for any of the voluntary stuff. A week later, Carson says, “Chad will be fine, he’s a pro, he’ll be there for training camp.” Then Chad realizes his initial statement wasn’t getting him any traction, so he dumps on Carson for butting in, says he never said what he said, and that he won’t play for the Bengals at all. He’s not a free agent, not even in a contract year, but he’s had his face in front of the microphones all off-season long. The disrespect that Chad’s been manufacturing since the Super Bowl is nothing more than Rosenhaus-ism.

I’d have more sympathy for C.J.’s position if he was still making rookie money. He signed a huge extension two seasons ago, he “got paid,” and the cap hit that would result from a trade now is a big reason you won’t see a deal for him before June 1st, if at all. Two number ones, or even a one-and-a-three, is a pretty good deal for a 30-year old receiver. But I’m not sure I’d make that deal today when it means losing what this 30-year old receiver means right now to this offense, as thin as they are at that position.

Lastly, criticize the Bengals for their hubris in picking head-cases like Chris Henry and Odell Thurman. But cut them some slack for getting little long-term production out of top picks Chris Perry, David Pollack and Kenny Irons. These guys were not injury-prone in college.

35
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 12:36pm

Re: 34

Yeah, the folks that joke about the draft picks Washington is offering being useless to the (poor drafting) Bengals overlook the fact that the Bengals did draft Chad Johnson. Every other team had a shot at him but passed.

36
by Jim (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 12:37pm

As a Cowboys fan, I have to say I wish the Bengals had accepted this trade. I love seeing the Redskins strip themselves of draft picks in exchange for old top-line guys. Then I can just sit back, wait for the injuries to hit, and enjoy the show as their complete lack of depth is once again exposed.

The downside, of course, is an offer like this makes it a lot less likely that JJ will be able to snag Roy Williams or Anquan Boldin on draft day.

37
by Daniel (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 1:54pm

I don't think that the picks are of poor use because the Bengals don't draft well, but rather the players they would acquire would take a few years to develop into starters of Chad Johnson's caliber. With Steve McNair's retirement and the difficult schedule and offensive line problems facing the Steelers the Bengals can take this division. They need Johnson this year, not a good player 3 years from now.

38
by TomC (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 3:31pm

I never thought I'd find myself saying this, but I think the Bears' management & coaches provided a model of how to deal with a disgruntled player during the Briggs situation: Don't rip the guy, but also don't even begin to acknowledge that he has any leverage. Just keep on repeating: "We like him, he's under contract, we expect him to be in training camp."

(And then accuse the team you were in secret trade talks with of tampering.)

39
by Reinhard (not verified) :: Wed, 04/23/2008 - 7:19pm

38: I like it

40
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Thu, 04/24/2008 - 7:33am

Re: 38

The Bears were ultimately able to appease Briggs by agreeing not to franchise him (subject to some minimal 2007 performance targets) for 2008. The Bengals are in a tougher spot. Johnson still has three years left on his deal. I'm not sure the Bengals have anything they can give Johnson (short of a new contract) that will give him a face saving way to come back.

41
by Bright Blue Shorts (not verified) :: Thu, 04/24/2008 - 4:29pm

Re:13 - the last dozen #21 draft picks are better than the overalls.

Doesn't that prove the value of a rookie going to a good team that has just made the playoffs, has solid coaching and organisation, and will probably get to develop rather try to be an immediate starter?

42
by parker (not verified) :: Fri, 04/25/2008 - 11:56am

You can't go after Chad unless you are already NFC championship level.

The Eagles and Pats both got to the superbowl after being that level of team. The WR is a finishing piece. He's not going to turn the Skins(barely a 10 win team) into a superbowl contender. He's not worth those kind of picks.

43
by Eddie Spaghetti (not verified) :: Fri, 04/25/2008 - 1:10pm

My guess is that the Bengals wanted to hold onto Johnson until the draft to give them more leverage.

They know exactly how many teams are interested in dealing for him and what they see his value as. If a "win now" team (or a coach or GM who is in the hot seat) wind up being (in their mind) one WR away from a Super Bowl run, Johnson's value could go up - although I doubt there's anyway it gets up to two number ones.

My guess is they want an extra card to play with during the draft. Maybe foolishly, but hell, it is the Bengals...

44
by Kellerman (not verified) :: Fri, 04/25/2008 - 6:01pm

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I've never seen a player's image decline so precipitously. Just last season he came out in the "Hall of Fame" coat and all the Bengal fans loved it and the national media laughed and everybody knew it was all in good fun. I DO think Chad brought on most of his troubles himself, because of his thin skin and need for approval. I think he was unfairly criticized by the media and fans for his play last season, particularly as compared with others on the team and coaching staff, but I think Marvin and the coaching staff could have given Chad a large vote of confidence (deserved or not) but the rub is that there are other players on the team who would not have enjoyed seeing that. Many of the other players already think Chad gets too much credit and attention and money. Maybe he does, but it doesn't follow that THEY deserve it instead. The bottom line is that it's awfully hard to point to ANY player on the 2007 Bengals and say "that guy played better than 85." any You can't give EVERYONE a vote of confidence following a 7-9 season, so perhaps giving NO ONE the vote is the way to go. Chad's like a little kid (or a puppy) always needing daddy's approval. That's not normal, but is giving it to him going to cost you more than withholding it will cost?

Plus, he's no menace to society nor thug. Who's Palmer going to throw to this fall if 85 is gone? A rookie WR? Antonio Chatman? Glenn Holt? Chris Perry? A tight end? How many balls will TJ get to see if doubled or tripled all the time?