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Chad and Lewis must mend fences

Anything you hear lately about Chad Johnson is basically nothing. When asked for an update, Oil Slick simply says "status quo" -- nothing new to report. Many of us agree that will be the response, likely, through training camp and into the season most likely meaning that no trade is likely. Though as Oil Slick will contend, behind the scenes, things are moving along. It's a ploy by a tactician to keep the Bengals on their feet, perhaps even intriguing them into thinking of a trade possibility. Who knows. I believe it's safe to assume that a Chad Johnson trade isn't likely.

I think a critical question to be asked is how head coach Marvin Lewis intends to heal the rift between team and superstar. He called out Lewis and said only T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Carson Palmer have his back. Furthermore, how will fans react during the team's opening home game? Should we boo when catches his first pass or should we just forget about all things in 2007 and start anew for 2008? I vote for the latter, but that's not realistic. Fans took a level of insult from Chad's national ploy. He's at odds with local beat writers -- then again, who isn't? Marvin Lewis was criticized for being condescending against local beat writers favoring the national media.

So while we can put to bed any chance of Chad Johnson being traded unless something new comes out -- which I'll project Oil Slick will leak -- the issue of team unity and chemistry, should be more worrisome. Last season it was published that Chad and Houshmandzadeh were trying to "run the team". It was said that both even shouted at Palmer. Though if that were the case, which I'm not sure it was, you'd think others would come to Palmer's defense. Marvin Lewis hasn't spoken to Chad since the season ended.

Think the two can mend fences? Or will there be added distraction in 2008?