The Cincinnati Bengals have consistently made it known, publicly and privately, that they will not trade receiver Chad Johnson.
But, nevertheless, an effort has been made to trade for him.
According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the Washington Redskins offered a first-round pick in 2008 and another draft pick in 2009 for the disgruntled wideout, who has made his desire to get out of Cincinnati abundantly clear over the past few months.
The 2009 pick actually could escalate to a first-rounder, based on Johnson’s performance in 2008.
Mort points out that it’s not the first time that the Redskins have approached the Bengals, but it’s the ”first significant proposal.”
Here’s our take on all of this — the Bengals should be very concerned about the possibility of tampering. The Redskins have enjoyed over the years a very strong relationship with Drew Rosenhaus, Johnson’s agent. And it is believed by some league observers that Chad’s campaign to be traded arose not from his zeal to wear a new uniform but from his desire to stuff more money into his pockets.
Thus, if the Redskins were willing to make such a strong and specific offer for Johnson, it’s hard not to think that they have an idea as to the contract extension that Johnson (via Rosenhaus) would accept.
And that, of course, would be tampering.
We realize that the reader comments to this item will include some folks suggesting that we quit worrying about tampering, but a situation like this presents the prime example of how unauthorized communications with a player who belongs to another team can undermine that team’s relationship with its player. If no one were interested in trading for (and, presumably, paying) Johnson, then Johnson might quit embarrassing the team (and himself) by providing rambling, pointless interviews that reiterate his desire to play elsewhere. The notion that another team is willing to give him what he wants financially (if that’s what is happening) will serve only to embolden him.
In our view, the fact that the Redskins would be willing to give up so much for a player who clearly has at best impulse control problems and at worse some type of full-blown personality disorder makes us wonder whether the “I want to be traded today, and if not today then tomorrow, and if not tomorrow then the next day” routine is part of a broader wink-nod arrangement that Chad will pretend to be Ocho Psycho in the hopes that the Bengals will finally decide to let him go.
We’re not saying that’s what happening, but it’s hard not to wonder whether that’s what’s happening.