(I could find no transcript, or video of the interview in it's entirety, so all quotes are loosely what I remember from the interview, nothing of which I manipulated to make points with)
Chad Johnson appeared on First Take today in what was supposed to be a debate, what it turned in to was Stephen Smith and Skip Bayless grilling Chad for 45 minutes straight. It started off of course with questions about the incident with Evelyn, where he completely took responsibility for his actions, over and over again, and then went on to his opinions about Jovan Belcher. They tried to get him to admit sympathy and connection with the guy due to their domestic violence tendencies. Being the Bengals geek that I am, I found it silly they didn't bring up that ironically Chads middle name is "Jovan", if they were going to go the "you had something in common" route with Chad. His opinion on it was the politically correct one. He didn't know the guy and that he felt sympathy for the child more than Belcher himself.
Anyways, they continued the interview, which I can't find a transcript for, asking Chad questions about what went wrong in New England. His response was very defensive, saying "I don't know" numerous times. They went on to tell him they basically felt Miami was looking for any little reasons to cut him, and he gave them a big one, making it easier on them. Going on to tell him he looked great on Hard Knocks in practice, but when it came game time he dropped too many passes. Chad's response to that was dropped balls are apart of football and he felt he had proven enough in the past , he thought people would overlook a couple of dropped passes.
After all the grilling they did of him, both about his issues on and off the field, they began the "you showed up for us and we're done with you, go ahead with your chance to pitch yourself to the NFL". Chad at this point didn't catch that vibe, still worked up from all the attacking they did to him, began to tell them he didn't feel they were qualified enough to receive that pitch from him. He was "Child Please" every other word, while they were literally screaming at him explaining this was their sincere offer to him to say "Sign Me" to the guys watching. I believe during this back and forth he may have ruined any small chance he had to be signed by anyone. He obviously didn't get the memo before the show that stated "We're going to crucify you, and then talk you up with softball questions and love".
The most interesting thing I got came after this. They gave up trying to get him to understand they were now on his side, and asked him if he could do anything different prior to New England what would that be. His response was one I didn't expect and truly admired, and is also the reason for our comment section going crazy with speculation and arguing. He went on to say something to the nature of "I would go to Marvin, and ask him what can I do to help this organization? I would ask him what I needed to do to help the Cincinnati Bengals, and I would have stayed and finished and retired from my career in Cincinnati". Skip and Stephen then followed up with a question asking if he wanted to return to Cincinnati and his response was to the nature of "A.J Green is out of this world, and I would have gladly stepped down, and given him my spot to stay to with the Bengals" and they then asked do you want to go back and he said "I would not be opposed to returning to Cincinnati".
Now I love Chad Johnson, as much as anyone has ever loved the guy. He made us relevant, and to be quite honest, I wouldn't be opposed to him getting a tryout next year. That is key to me though, someone insinuated we should have picked him up after Sanu went down, like Plaxico was picked up by the Steelers. I think that comparison is flat out crazy, the Steelers are completely drained of depth at WR, and we are not. To bring him in right now, when we don't really need him would just be a distraction this team doesn't need. However, I do still believe as a 2nd or 3rd option he can still produce. After being asked what he would bring to an NFL team he said this morning "Humility, a quite guy, and someone that is always open". I think bringing him in for a tryout and using him as an option to help A.J. Green with that attitude, could bring a lot positivity and a fun guy to the locker room. As well as someone, although it's been a couple of years, that is proven on the field. He certainly wouldn't be the first person that managed to resurrect a career after a couple of years off.
We are not talking about a guy that is going to demand camera's by his locker. We are talking about a guy, if he could change things, would have stayed and mentored A.J. and other young players, and still been a productive member on the field. I think it would have been impossible for him to do that at the time he was traded. However, I think after everything he's been through, this could be the consistent 2nd or 3rd option this team has been looking for since we let T.J. walk and started signing guys like Lavernues Coles. I could be completely wrong here, he could be a major distraction, but with where he is as a person, considering what talent he may have left, and considering his relationship with Marvin Lewis. I'm personally not opposed to him being brought in for a tryout in the off season. Armon Binns, in my opinion, isn't much better at this point.
The Videos of this would not import, and unfortunately these don't cover the interview in it's entirety. However, here's a link to what I can find, and I'll will continue looking for the entire thing.
Worthy of a tryout?
Yes (227 votes)
No (180 votes)
I have mixed feelings (135 votes)
542 total votes