Bengals holding ground on Johnson holdout

According to reports, the Washington Redskins offered Cincinnati a 1st round pick this year and a conditional 3rd round pick next year (which could potentially be a 1st rounder) for angry receiver Chad Johnson.  What did the Bengals say about this generous offer?  NO!

Quoted in the above-linked story, Bengals coach Marv Lewis said the following about the situation:

“I’ve stated our case with Chad,” Lewis said. “He has a contract through 2011. He’s stated without an opportunity to go to a different team and a new contract, he wasn’t going to play. I think he’s a man of his word and says he’s not going to play, so don’t play.”

It’s also reported that Philly and Dallas have had trade offers rejected by the Bengals.

So it seems one of two things are at play here.  A) Cincinnati really doesn’t want to trade Johnson and would rather have him sit out the season and collect fines from the receiver.  or B) They really don’t care for the NFC East and a team from a different division needs to make an offer.

Very interesting stuff.  I honestly think the Bengals are stupid for not taking an offer.  I understand the problems involved with giving in to player demands, but you are risking the future of your team in order to prove a point.  Two extra first round picks could be the difference in turning the franchise around.  A grumpy receiver, playing or not, isn’t going to do it.  Cincinnati could easily get a top defensive tackle with their current top pick and use the additional pick from Washington to grab a corner or linebacker.  That’s two potential impact players that could start or at least contribute from day one.  Instead, they are going to throw that out the window so they can let Johnson sit and pout all year. 

If I were a Bengals fan, I’d be mad no matter what happens here.  Same thing went down with the Packers when Javon Walker decided he was done with the team.  If you’re a fan, you hate that the star receiver isn’t playing.  At the same time, the Packers were able to turn a player who wasn’t going to play, into a bunch of draft picks.  Granted, the Packers weren’t able to get a ton of value out of Walker as he was coming off injury and really only had one good year anyway.  Johnson, on the other hand, is at a premium value right now.  It’s not likely that he’ll be worth any more after sitting at home for a year.

Bengals making a stand with Johnson?

The line has been drawn in the sad. Chad Johnson says he will not be a Bengal anymore.  Cinci says they are keeping Chad. So now what?  I don’t see Johnson retiring anytime soon.  He probably won’t risk the humiliation of backing down now.  After trying to present a tougher image recently, it seems the Bengals don’t wat the bad PR associated with caving to a player demand.  So does that mean Chad sits out?  It has happened plenty of times, usually with favorable results for the player.  In fact, the Briggs holdout in Chicago is one of the only recent high profile moves I remember where the player didn’t get their trade.

Johnson would certainly be in big demand on the trading block, as long as teams are willing to deal with the attitude (which they all are).  Cincinnati will say they aren’t listening to offers, but in the next 10 days, they will.  The Bengals need more help than a star receiver can provide and if teams throw them a 2nd round pick and another pick for Chad, they’ll no doubt rethink their stance.

I can’t wait to see who comes calling.  San Fran has shown they have no fear about selling out for big names, and they need offensive firepower.  I am sure Dallas will get thrown out there, although I can’t see that being possible.  There has to be more options than that for a pro bowl receiver, right?