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Teams looking to acquire disgruntled wide receivers enters day #1,673. Since the Bengals have no interest dealing Chad Johnson (which we'll get to below), teams most interested in acquiring a veteran wide receiver are going to their next option -- after Larry Fitzgerald, Chad Johnson and Lee Evans were unshoppable (my word) -- Anquan Boldin. Doing their best Marvin Lewis impression (except for the lying and then admission), they're quick to respond: "NO!"
Apparently Oil Slick (Johnson's agent) and the Redskins came to an agreement either before, or at the exact moment, that the trade offer was made -- which we're not exactly sure when. The Redskins offered Johnson $21 million in guarantee money while offering the Bengals their 21st overall pick in 2008 and a conditional third-round pick in 2009.
Here's some points that people are making.
If the Bengals can't trade Johnson because of an $8 million cap hit, then wouldn't the Bengals be in further cap troubles with a first-round pick drafted a the 21st slot?
Well, yea. Last year the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Reggie Nelson (the 21st pick) to a five-year deal worth $7.1 million in guarantee money. I admit, I'm no capologist. This site claims the first year, Nelson's cap hit was estimated at $1.9 million the first year. The number nine pick -- the Bengals slot this year -- Ted Ginn Jr. signed a five-year deal with $14.1 million guaranteed. That should work out to just under $3 million against the cap -- if my logic is correct. So based on those very loose assumptions, the Bengals would be roughly $13 million against the cap for two first-round draft picks and Chad Johnson's departure. Now add the $7.45 million for Stacy Andrews' franchise tag and that number hits $20 million. Obviously, this is a tall number for four transactions. So what are the team's options?
Being creative and proactive isn't a word avoided like the Salem Which Hunt trials.
A trade for 2009 picks rather than 2008. I don't think the Bengals will have improved success from 2007 -- meaning I don't see them playing better than 8-8 or 9-7 as is. Spread the hit through two seasons via June 1st cut. If allowed, work with Chad about restructuring the contract to lower the cap number with Cincinnati then instantly ship him to Washington before the ink dries so he can sign his Washington deal. Get Stacy Andrews signed to a long-term deal, redo Carson Palmer's contract and sign T.J. Houshmandzadeh to a long-term deal that's cap friendly early -- I've seen it done, so it can happen. All you have to do is be creative and hope that the players understand the situation and work with you to resolve it.
The only way the Bengals can succeed in 2008 is with Chad.
I find this argument incredibly faulty and presumptuous. Consider that the Bengals, as a whole, with Chad Johnson, have one winning season and one playoff game under their belts. With or without Chad, the team has a losing record when you scratch the 2005 season. The Bengals need Chad Johnson like they needed Corey Dillon -- a great talent, but not the team's sole contributor. Other teams use wide receivers wisely enough that players less talented perform to achieve their ends. Secondly, we have to be concerned on how Chad will be received in the locker room come week #1. Just because he has the talent to achieve great performances, doesn't translate to a team's success. It never does. If keeping Chad means a fractured locker room, then keeping Chad provides little, if any, benefit to the team's overall success. Even Palmer is deflated: "I've moved on and I'm over it. I'm not really going to comment on it much more." If trading Chad helps the team, then why not at least explore the question rather than jumping down everyone's throats about a report that you had to later confirm, via press release, that it was written as true?
I realize I'm beating Barbaro and I apologize for that. Both player and team is frustrating as hell -- Chad for being the prick (at least a sheep to Oil Slick), the team for being stubborn.