While speaking to WXIX-TV regarding Carson Palmer and his demand for a trade (and wrestling frigging Alligators), Chad Ochocinco said he's fine with returning to Cincinnati:
I would love to still be here, and I have no problem ... I can't control the situation as a whole; I can only control me. And what I've done is I've been at peace for a while now. For a while now, you haven't heard a peep out of me as far as being a problem or saying things out of context, I'm just really supporting the Bengals' organization and the city."
Speculation hovers over Paul Brown Stadium like a gray fog that the Bengals may not be willing to face a $6 million price tag. Then there's the possibility of irreparable harm done between Marvin Lewis and Chad during their war of words over the offseason. In most circles Chad has been written off for the 2011 season, from the Bengals point of view. But in reality, whatever issues that permeate this time around, it's nothing compared to Chad's campaign for a trade several seasons ago.
The Bengals hit the offseason after a rough 2007 season. Remembering it isn't like bits and pieces of a fading dream. Sharp with contrast, tint and all settings on old school televisions, Chad Ochocinco's offseason was maddening. Rumblings for a trade were random and speculative; teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were even conjectured as interested trade partners at one point. Then the legendary campaign for a trade on Super Tuesday hit the airwaves, announcing to the world that he wants out. Miami was another considered trade partner for two reasons. Along with being Chad's hometown, they were believed to be a contender. Some time later, Chad threatened to sit out the 2008 season if he wasn't traded; a tactic that Carson Palmer is currently thinking to himself, "now, this might work."
Drew Rosenhaus, Chad's agent, began a campaign to publicly reiterate his clients demands. Teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins were known to be interested, even though the Bengals were adamant that Chad wouldn't be traded throughout the offseason. A report surfaced that the Bengals would entertain a trade if that meant receiving two first round draft picks, an established player and $5 million of Chad's bonuses paid for. Sound ridiculous? One offer was reportedly made which included a 2008 first round pick and a conditional third round pick that could become a first in 2009 if Chad caught 95 passes in 2008. Mike Brown wasn't interested, which adds to his unrealized television show called "the greatest moments in dementia", considering that Chad hasn't come close to the numbers to even warrant a rejected trade for a first and, at the very least, a third round pick.
Remember that threat to sit out? It began to soften the closer the team got to training camp. During a mandatory workout in mid-June, Chad showed up, even ran a few drills, but refused to practice claiming a sore back. Drew Rosenhaus was in town to field questions, putting himself out in front when one of his players dealt with adversity in the headlines. As if you expected differently. The following day during stretches, this exchange was overheard between head coach Marvin Lewis and Chad:
Marvin Lewis: "When you gonna come give me some love?"
Chad Johnson: "Ain’t no love no more. It’s business."
Marvin Lewis: "Oh, okay. Good. Business is playing."
Let than a week later, Rosenhaus left town, Chad and Carson Palmer watched film. Chad also planned on joining his wide receiver mates in California to get some work in before training camp. And that was it.
All of the drama that was spent between the Bengals and Chad Ochocinco ended up full circle. There was no victor. Chad Ochocinco wasn't traded and was forced to put aside his demands. The Bengals lost a chance to pick up another first round draft pick and kept a receiver that would go on to depressingly underachieve.