If Chad Johnson is going to get traded, it'll be today.
On a scale of 1-10, with ten being the most likely, I believe the likelihood that Johnson gets traded is 10-plus. The Bengals are taking the same position that they did last year by publicly shooting down trade rumors. They are hard-headed when it comes to a position. Some say that this is also a smoke-screen, but I disagree. If Johnson were known to be available, what better way to let other teams know of his availability than a press conference, which would be highlighted for a week heading into the trade. Now that they said no, that could force other teams to step back and look for alternative solutions.
Perhaps the Bengals know that Johnson won't command much in the trade market. If that's true, and it reportedly is, the Bengals probably don't want to say he's on the block publicly, which would make Johnson feel that he's unwanted on the team that he hates playing for when Cincinnati fails to find a suitor.
Yesterday it was reported that the Eagles offered a trade for Anquan Boldin. Philadelphia reportedly offered the Cardinals no higher than a third round pick.
One source with intimate knowledge of the thinking of one of the teams reportedly interested in Boldin tells us that the asking price of $9 million or $10 million per year could be scaring some folks off, given Boldin’s age, his lack of high-end speed, and his history of injuries.
While it seems that if teams aren't willing to offer much for Boldin, this could actually have a beneficial effect with Johnson. First of all Johnson is only three years older, has high-end speed and his history of injuries are mainly focused on one season (2008). Of course, 2008 is a rather sticky situation in that we're not sure if that was an aberration or the start of a downward trend. So, your conclusion on that is likely running parallel with other teams.
However, there's the issue of cost. If Johnson is looking for that range, then he's with the Bengals until his contract expires or the Bengals decide he's worthless enough to release him. I don't see a trade happening with his name after this year; of course that doesn't mean it won't happen if he has a rebounding season in 2009. On the other hand, if he's serious about leaving Cincinnati, the negotiated contract with the potential next team would far favor that team's payroll than someone like Boldin, or Plaxico Burress, Braylon Edwards.
Anyway, I still don't believe that the Bengals will trade Johnson. But if a trade were to happen, today would be that day.