NFL.com senior columnist, Thomas George, spoke with Mike Brown "at length" and made the following comments during an NFL Network segment by Scott Hanson who asked George for a summary.
"Three significant things. Mike Brown, the owner of the team, says he does not know where this is going. That is very significant since he is the owner." George said, that Marvin said, things went wrong between Chad Johnson and the Bengals when he changed representation to Oil Slick (Drew Rosenhaus).
George's conclusion on Chad? "They've either got to get him on board or out."
Unfortunately, I think it's too late for option A and perhaps even option B. Getting him on board just doesn't seem realistic; his mind is made up, he's going to play as Drew Rosenhaus' puppet avoiding his own decision-making. Even Lewis, who seems hurt rather than mad -- by very recent appearances, comments and quotes -- long closed that door. Now he just hopes that Johnson comes back to them.
There's really no option to getting him out without some sort of penalty. A trade could happen, but the cost would likely be a downgrade of the Redskins offer earlier in the spring, and the dead money costs. And Washington drafted two wide receivers in the second round. The team won't simply cut him because the same total of dead money still applies. The Bengals won't get rid of Chad; it would make them look stupid by refusing the initial Washington offer. And in Mike Brown's mind, he never looks foolish. Pfft.
While I agree, getting him out of here at any cost is probably the best course for the team's health, Mike Brown simply won't do that saying "He made a commitment to us when he signed his contract. We relied on it. He is not someone you can replace quickly. It is not easily done. We are counting on him being here. We are." Whether you believe in Mike Brown's stance against a Drew Rosenhaus coup, it's a major problem that this stalemate exists between two parties unsure how it will turn out. Worse, it's bad that you're still depending on the guy. Palmer isn't. Lewis isn't.
While Chad has been a major catalyst with "distraction" (what other word is there?), I do believe that Mike Brown should step up, now. He should be playing scenarios; suspending for "conduct detrimental to the team"; taking leadership of his organization by kicking Oil Slick off the premises; calling Timothy Kremchek himself to set up the time for the procedure, if indeed, he's hurt. Or, the most unlikely, have Marvin Lewis and Brown sit with Chad without Oil Slick and salvage something.
The status quo right now is not going to work. Ownership has to make something happen; rather than sitting comfortably amongst the crowd munching on popcorn while watching the circus tear up the field. The Bengals have one winning season since Mike Brown took over, a franchise that's constantly questioned with web sites that are dedicated to poor ownership. Stop letting the attention focus on Chad mulling around the sidelines while Oil Slick sits cozily under a Cincinnati tree on his laptop undoubtedly finding ways to wreck other player's reputations. Step up, Brown. Do something about it. Or better yet, read WDR from time to time. They've hit the nail on the head about you every time.