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Bengals looking to keep T.J. -- could that force Chad's hand?

NFL Network's Adam Schefter is reporting that the Bengals are negotiating an extension for T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The report comes as a secondary note while he explains the "showdown" between the Bengals and Chad Johnson -- especially if the team signs Houshmandzadeh. I don't believe the team will actively concentrate on moving Johnson. If Chad does leave, it will be an effort on his part to seek an out.

However, a showdown is looming in Cincinnati, where few of the Bengals are happy with the way this past season went and some, including Johnson, could opt to seek their exit.

For starters, Johnson and Palmer did not connect the way they did in other seasons. Also, the Bengals are expected to try to retain Pro Bowl wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who has one year remaining on his contract. Should the two sides come to the agreement that many expect, it could send Johnson back to the bargaining table to rework a six-year, $35.5 million contract extension he signed in April 2006.

However it plays out, sources close to the situation insist that the Bengals have not heard the last from Johnson this off-season. The story is just beginning.