Questioning Hobson's Logic on Chad Johnson

It's not that I disrespect Geoff Hobson, but there are times that I think he misses points -- or becomes oblivious to the team's bottom line -- make the team and ownership look good. For example, in his latest mailbag, Hobson is adamant that the Bengals keep Chad Johnson... and that they should.

They (Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis) seem to think it's quite ludicrous to trade a potential Hall of Famer for, say, Reggie Nelson and Jonathan Wade. What am I missing?

Reggie Nelson is with the Jacksonville Jaguars, not in the NFL draft. Then this blurb from the Pro Football Talk guys.

Per a league source, Johnson is serious about staying away, despite the cost.

Granted. Most people, even myself to some degree, think that once the paychecks appear, then Chad will return. But nothing is guaranteed with this entire episode. Will he played, won't he play. Will he pout, or just play. Will he play, or simply go through the motions.

If you have a Pro Bowl wide receiver that's potentially a Hall of Famer (like Corey Dillon) that sits out, you're missing his roster spot and whatever return the draft pick could have provided. You also miss the obvious distractions if Chad Johnson sits out -- the funny-ass SportsCenter interviews, the soon-to-be drive way interview, etc... I'm sorry, but if he does sit out, after each loss, the question about Chad Johnson will be asked to Lewis and Palmer (unfairly). You know it. And it will come from the same people that currently pen their support for keeping him, rather than trading him when the chance was presented. Now the question is that if every NFL team knows that the Bengals won't even listen to offers, will anymore show up when the team decides to move him?

The Redskins offered the 21st pick in this year's draft and a conditional third in 2009. Nelson, a decent safety for the Jaguars, was the 21st pick last year.

Wouldn't you take a seventh round pick expecting T.J. Houshmandzadeh? Would you use the same comparisons when Palmer was picked #1 in the 2003 NFL draft while David Carr was first the year before? The only justified comparison from year to year, is predicting contracts based on slots. Not the actual players and their rookie season performances. That would be, what's the word, unproven?

so now you trade him and you've got two unproven players and one fewer Pro Bowl receiver for your Pro Bowl quarterback.

When the Bengals traded Corey Dillon for the #56 pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, the team received unproven Madieu Williams. Even Hobson wrote at the time:

Williams, the man who could have been a trivia question as the 56th pick in the draft, has instead become a Rookie of the Year candidate as he bids to become the first Bengals rookie defensive back to have four interceptions in a season since 1986 and Pro Bowler David Fulcher.

So the bigger risk is whether you keep Chad and he sits, using up a roster spot and losing your opportunity at the best deal that could have already passed by, or you dump the trash and risk the unprovens. Speaking of Fulcher, he had this to say about Chad:

"If Chad doesn't want to be here, man, let him go. Let him go because the stuff he's saying right now, do you really expect that it's not going to be a distraction to the team? It's going to be a distraction." — David Fulcher, Bengals strong safety (1986-92).

Distraction. Distraction. Distraction. Rather than moaning Chad's attitude through the season, why not let a new kid become acquainted with the NFL while using the 2009 pick as another "need" filler.

Frankly, the Bengals were out of their minds if they didn't hang up on the Redskins. Hopefully Mike and Marvin told them to come back with Santana Moss on the table and now they can start talking.

Santana Moss. I'm always told that people are always replaceable. I'm not sure how Chad became an exception that rule. Before he came to Cincinnati, the Mike Brown era Bengals have stunk. When he came to Cincinnati, they continued to stink. During his career here, other than the glorious 2005 season and the half-time locker room "incident", the Bengals have been mediocre at best. So don't replace Chad. Remain status quo. Then complain three months into the season about the Bengals not listening (at least!) to trade offers.

I get both sides of the argument. I do. My school of thought, which could be different than yours (and that's fine), is that there is no chance that this team benefits with Chad in 2008. None. There's too many bridges that need mending really soon, or it won't happen at all. And the main point isn't the draft picks, but the problem within the locker room. Hopefully if Chad comes back, then all that can be put aside. But I'm not that optimistic.

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