Bengals head coach admitted to our biggest fan, Peter King, why the Bengals are restocking wide receivers. It's not just Chad Johnson threatening to sit out. It's not just the Bengals cutting Chris Henry after his fifth arrest. It's also a likelihood that the Bengals might not be able to sign T.J. Houshmandzadeh after his contract is up this season.
"T.J.'s at the end of his contract this year,'' Lewis said, "and I don't know if it's possible to re-sign him. Chad says he won't play without a trade. We just have to be prepared for anything this year, and for the future.''
We've spoken at length this off-season when Chad Johnson's career suicide campaign begun after the season was over. Once Chris Henry was cut, and Chad Johnson being, well, Chad, we figured that T.J. could be another departed because his deal will be up after the season and we're sure that the Bengals wouldn't pay the value that T.J. believes he'd deserve. And who can blame T.J. for wanting to try the free agent market. He's getting older and this will likely be his final chance at a big-time contract that we know the Bengals won't hand out.
We wonder though if the team doesn't intend to sign T.J. for different reasons, but similar to Chad Johnson, after "league sources" surfaced that Chad and T.J. were trying to run the team even shouting at mega-messiah, Carson Palmer. The Pro Football Talk guys wrote in mid-December:
A league source tells us that there is growing animosity in the Bengals locker room toward receivers Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
Per the source, both are yelling "all the time" at quarterback Carson Palmer, but coach Marvin Lewis doesn't say or do anything about it. Players are also upset that the two receivers are trying to "run the team."
The situation reminds us of the latter days of the Denny Green era in Minnesota, where receivers Cris Carter and Randy Moss were berating quarterback Daunte Culpepper and operating under a separate set of rules.
I'm not saying one way or another, but we do wonder.