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WVRed
01-22-2005, 04:18 PM
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050122/SPT02/501220388/1078/SPT

Rudi doesn't want franchise tag
Agent says running back will sit if given one-year deal

By Mark Curnutte
Enquirer staff writer


Running back Rudi Johnson wants more than a 1-year deal from the Bengals.

Rudi Johnson would sit out the 2005 season rather than play under a one-year free agent contract designation available to the Bengals.

Peter Schaffer, Johnson's agent, said Friday night that he has told the Bengals that Johnson would not play if the club uses the franchise tag on Johnson.

"He feels he has earned the right not to play for insecurity," Schaffer said. "It's notanti-organization. It's not Corey Dillon. I was very clear: Rudi feels his contributions to the team and his stats warrant that, if he is going to play for the Bengals, that it is not for one year."

Johnson wants a five- or six-year contract with the Bengals, Schaffer said. Johnson can become an unrestricted free agent March 2. He played for a $1.8 million tender as a restricted free agent in 2004 and responded by starting all 16 games and setting franchise records for rushing yards (1,454) and rushing attempts (361).

The franchise tag severely limits a free agent's ability to change teams. The Bengals would have to guarantee Johnson a one-year deal equal to the average of the top five running back salaries in the league - expected to be near $6 million. If another team would sign Johnson as a free agent, the Bengals would receive compensation in the form of two first-round draft picks.

Johnson did not return several phone messages left Friday.

"They felt strongly about securing cornerstone players Willie Anderson (right tackle), Chad Johnson (wide receiver) and Carson Palmer (quarterback) with multi-year contracts," Schaffer said of the Bengals. "Rudi is not saying he does not want to be a Bengal. He wants to be a Bengal for several years."

The Bengals could put the tag on Johnson and then try to trade him.

Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan had no comment Friday night about Schaffer's comments.

Johnson has been a good team player, unlike Dillon, who consistently complained about playing in Cincinnati and tried to manipulate his exit.

The Bengals traded Dillon to New England in April for a second-round pick.

Reds4Life
01-22-2005, 04:25 PM
Smells like Leon in here.

RedFanAlways1966
01-22-2005, 04:34 PM
Johnson wants a five- or six-year contract with the Bengals, Schaffer said.

The average "NFL life expectancy" for a RB is not even 5 years. A deal for that length is not smart for a team. But what does length matter if there are no provisions for guaranteed money? I guess the infamous signing bonus would have to reflect 5-6 years in Rudi's mind.

Oh well... bummer.

Redsfaithful
01-22-2005, 04:41 PM
Smells like Leon in here.

It really doesn't. Who can fault the guy for wanting a multi-year deal? He just put up the most rushing yards ever by a Bengals running back.

I'm not arguing that it would be smart for the Bengals to resign Johnson; I think going with Perry is the smart bet. But Rudi has never been anything but professional, and the guy deserves every dime of the money he's about to get paid, regardless of who gives it to him.

I really can't see the Bengals tagging him. Lewis knows that just causes resentment, and he wants a happy clubhouse. If Takeo wasn't tagged then I can't see him ever using the tag.

Reds4Life
01-22-2005, 04:56 PM
If he wants a multi year deal, fine. Acting like a 3 year old saying "if you tag me I won't play" isn't really the best approach to getting that deal, especially after the many sour years of Corey Dillion Bengals fans had to put up with.

Redsfaithful
01-22-2005, 05:11 PM
If he wants a multi year deal, fine. Acting like a 3 year old saying "if you tag me I won't play" isn't really the best approach to getting that deal, especially after the many sour years of Corey Dillion Bengals fans had to put up with.

It's the only leverage he has.

WVRed
01-22-2005, 06:18 PM
If he wants to sit out, hes more than welcome, IMO.

The Bengals already have Chris Perry. This years RB class is projected to be very deep, and Florence KY native Shaun Alexander is a FA. There are plenty of options available this offseason, and RB is a fairly easy position to fill.

KYRedsFan
01-22-2005, 08:17 PM
No way, this is not even close to Dillon. Rudi sat and waited, produced, and should be paid for it. Now that said, I don't pay if I'm the Bengals, and I certainly don't tag him, with the options they have and the needs at other positions. Both sides will, and should be playing hardball.

Redsfaithful
01-22-2005, 08:22 PM
I hope people realize that using the franchise tag just makes it that much harder to attract quality free agents.

Who'd want to come and play in Cincinnati knowing they might not be allowed to leave?

It's such negative PR.

CougarQuest
01-22-2005, 08:23 PM
I like Rudi, but there is no way I would give him a five year deal, unless we are talking $500,000 a year. Somehow I don't think that's what he has in mind. With the depth of the draft and the possible free agents, I'm not worried about this position.

MWM
01-22-2005, 08:31 PM
I don't like these comments because the "Franchise Tag" policy is part of the CBA agreed to by the player's association. The players as a group agreed to this stipulation knowing that these exact situations will happen regularly. Why should a team not use it if it's to their benefit? As a player, Rudi agrees to be subjected to the franchise tag. I don't like players who act like the rules don't apply to them and somehow they're an exception. Sitting out for Rudi would be the worst thing he could do for his career. Running backs who sit out a year are going to lose something.

As far as the Bengals are concerned, if there's no one else they feel warrants the franchise tag, then they should absolutely use it on Rudi. That way, if he does go elsewhere, they get draft picks, which Marvin has shown he knows what to do with (except for Perry). There's really no downside to it. If he sits, they don't have to pay him. If he goes elsewhere, they get draft picks. The only downside is the "chemistry" argument. And Rudi doesn't seem like the kind of guy who will cause a lot of problems.

I think the Takeo situation was different in a couple of ways. Lewis was brand knew and the Bengals were still a laughing stock and mired in the losing mentality. While they still haven't completely broken through, it's definitely a different mentality and Rudi is part of the new Bengals. Spikes had been through the wrost with the Bengals and wanted out of Cincinnati regardless. Rudi just wants a long-term contract. And more importantly, I really don't think Takeo was all that great. Honestly, he's one of the most over-rated players the Bengals have ever had. I loved the guy's attitude, but from watching him week in and week out, he wasn't that great. And rumor has it that Marvin felt the same way and didn't see any need to pay a great price for Spikes.

GAC
01-23-2005, 06:36 AM
The Bengals already have Chris Perry.

Sorry WV (and very respefctfully), but I have to :lol: on this one. The reason the Benglas were able to get rid of Corey was because Rudi stepped up and proved something. Perry has not. Rudi has them right where he wants them.


This years RB class is projected to be very deep

Yes, but where do the Bengals draft at this year?


and Florence KY native Shaun Alexander is a FA.

I wouldn't go after any more RB's in Seattle (i.e. Dillion). Besides, what would it cost to get Alexander, even if he exits Seattle? He is more established then Rudi. I wouldn't offer any RB a 5 yr contract; but I'd think the Bengal's FO would have learned something from the Dillion fiasco.

Where are the Bengals as far as the salary cap goes? They need to offer Rudi a 2 yr deal, and pay him appropriately IMO. He has earned that.

If the Bengals put the "franchise" tag on Rudi, then IMO, he is as good as gone.

WVRed
01-23-2005, 09:30 AM
Sorry WV (and very respefctfully), but I have to :lol: on this one. The reason the Benglas were able to get rid of Corey was because Rudi stepped up and proved something. Perry has not. Rudi has them right where he wants them.

I disagree on this one for the reasons I listed.


Yes, but where do the Bengals draft at this year?

The Bengals pick 17th in this years draft, but there are several RBs projected to go into the 2nd round(Arrington, Gore, Morency, Marion Barber). Ronnie Brown could also be there when the Bengals pick in the first as well.




I wouldn't go after any more RB's in Seattle (i.e. Dillion). Besides, what would it cost to get Alexander, even if he exits Seattle? He is more established then Rudi. I wouldn't offer any RB a 5 yr contract; but I'd think the Bengal's FO would have learned something from the Dillion fiasco.

Where are the Bengals as far as the salary cap goes? They need to offer Rudi a 2 yr deal, and pay him appropriately IMO. He has earned that.

If the Bengals put the "franchise" tag on Rudi, then IMO, he is as good as gone.

Dillon played college at Washington. He is from Seattle, but Alexander is from the Cincy area. If they could get Rudi or Alexander at a 3 yr deal, I would be happy.

GAC
01-23-2005, 09:36 AM
If they could get Rudi or Alexander at a 3 yr deal, I would be happy.

I agree. But I think they could get Rudi alot cheaper then Alexander (if there is even a chance of doing so). So why aren't they offering Rudi a contract? The guy has proved his worth over the last two seasons to this team. To me, putting a "franchise" label on someone, instead of offering them a contract, is really like a smack in the face, and I can understand why any player would be upset.

Red Heeler
01-23-2005, 10:32 AM
I agree. But I think they could get Rudi alot cheaper then Alexander (if there is even a chance of doing so). So why aren't they offering Rudi a contract? The guy has proved his worth over the last two seasons to this team. To me, putting a "franchise" label on someone, instead of offering them a contract, is really like a smack in the face, and I can understand why any player would be upset.

The franchise tag is about the same as offering arbitration to a free agent eligible player in baseball. It does not mean that the team cannot negotiate a longer contract with the player nor does it prevent the player from negotiating with another team. It simply sets the one year price tag and ensures that the team will get draft compensation if he signs elsewhere.

For example, if the Reds had offered Paul Wilson arbitration, then he could have:

a) Negotiated a multi-year contract with the Reds (like he did).
b) Signed with another team with the Reds getting draft compensation
c) Accepted arbitration for a one year contract

Rudi has all of the same options except that the Bengals have the right to counter any other team's deal.

GAC
01-23-2005, 11:08 AM
I understand RH; but when you set that "franchise" tag on a player, who sets that 1 yr salary? An arbitration board?

I just hope that the Bengal's FO deals with Rudi in good faith, considering what he has accomplished. Now he doesn't deserve a 5 yr contract or an outrageous sum of money... and if he is dead set on thinking he deserves that, then it's not the Bengal's fault if they tell him "adios".

Again... what are the Bengal's salary cap restraints (if any)?

traderumor
01-23-2005, 11:21 AM
negotiating ploy

Red Heeler
01-23-2005, 01:10 PM
I understand RH; but when you set that "franchise" tag on a player, whos ets that 1 yr salary? An arbitration board?


Salary for a franchise player is the average of the 5 highest paid backs in the league. Not a bad gig, really.

I don't really see what the big deal with LTC's in the NFL, anyway. The contracts aren't guaranteed, so there is no advantage to the player if his performance goes south. I don't understand the cap rules well enough to know whether or not there is a big disadvantage to teams who sign a player and then cut them after a few years.

I think the Bengals have quite a bit of Payflex under the cap right now. Problem is, they have several guys who are due for a raise within the next couple of years. Maybe Rudi isn't as high on the priority list as some other guys who will command more money next year.

Danny Serafini
01-23-2005, 01:21 PM
I have no faith whatsoever in Chris Perry to be anything better than a third down back. For the most part that was a good draft but Marvin really blew the first pick. Give Rudi his 5 year deal, as it's been stated before, if he stinks it up and you want to cut him 3 years in you can, you won't have to pay those last couple years and it's just a prorated portion of his signing bonus that counts against the cap. At that point the hit shouldn't be too bad.

Chip R
01-23-2005, 03:24 PM
Salary for a franchise player is the average of the 5 highest paid backs in the league. Not a bad gig, really.

I don't really see what the big deal with LTC's in the NFL, anyway. The contracts aren't guaranteed, so there is no advantage to the player if his performance goes south. I don't understand the cap rules well enough to know whether or not there is a big disadvantage to teams who sign a player and then cut them after a few years.

Not at all. Even that salary may be more than the Bengals are willing to pay so the Franchise tag may be moot.

I don't know the cap rules very well myself but from what I understand, at least part of a player's salary will count against the salary cap if he is cut after a few years of a long term deal. The player won't see any of that money but he will get all of the bonus money, IIRC. That bonus is spread out over the life of the contract for cap purposes and I think even if a player is cut, at least part of that bonus counts against the cap.

IIRC, part of Corey Dillon's salary is counted against the Bengals' cap limit.

traderumor
01-23-2005, 06:11 PM
I have no faith whatsoever in Chris Perry to be anything better than a third down back. For the most part that was a good draft but Marvin really blew the first pick.You might want to let the guy get on the field healthy before making a judgment on the pick. Jim Anderson could have been wrong, but that pick was his reputation on the line. Expect good things from Perry. As far as Rudi, the Bengals have to get something for him, no matter whether he plays another down. I don't even care if they want to pay him, but only if it doesn't weaken their ability to improve the defense, both line and backers.

Brutus_the_Red
01-24-2005, 02:20 AM
Personally, I see the Rudi Johnson problem as a moot point., I don't see the bengals signing Rudi to a LTC for the simple fact that running back is one of the easiest positions in the NFL to fill. With more pertenant needs on the defensive line, i can't seem Marvin locking him up to a high dollar contract for more than a year or two at most.

I think the entire point to drafting Perry in the first place was that the Bengals weren't planning on carrying Johnson after this season, and "reloading" at runningback whenever each successive RB gets too expensive. But the Perry injury is going to force them to franchise tag Johnson.

For those who don't know, what the franchise tag does is allows the bengals to guarentee having Rudi for at least one more year, albiet at high $, but also gives them 2 first rounders if another team decides they want him (which is doubtful). This hopefully gives Perry a year to get his feet wet and Johnson walks at the end of next season.

My own view on this bengals offseason, is that they will franchise tag Johnson, and get him for around $5 million for next season. They'll try again for a free agent defensive lineman, and backload his contract to take Rudi's money, and then they'll use their first round pick on Erasmus James or another defensive end.

Johnny Footstool
01-24-2005, 10:47 AM
"He feels he has earned the right not to play for insecurity," Schaffer said. "It's not anti-organization. It's not Corey Dillon. I was very clear: Rudi feels his contributions to the team and his stats warrant that, if he is going to play for the Bengals, that it is not for one year."

True, it's not Corey Dillon. Dillon put up good stats for 6 years. Rudi has only performed for two.

Dillon refused to keep his mouth shut about the horrendous state of an organization that was built to lose. Rudi just wants more money.

bomarl1969
01-24-2005, 10:53 AM
If he wants to sit out, hes more than welcome, IMO.

The Bengals already have Chris Perry. This years RB class is projected to be very deep, and Florence KY native Shaun Alexander is a FA. There are plenty of options available this offseason, and RB is a fairly easy position to fill.

I don't want to return to the mid 90s when the Bengals didn't have a RB. I say sign him for about 3 years, 13 mil. He can live with that.

Danny Serafini
01-24-2005, 11:05 AM
I don't want to return to the mid 90s when the Bengals didn't have a RB. I say sign him for about 3 years, 13 mil. He can live with that.

What, Harold Green's 3 yards a carry wasn't good enough for you? :MandJ:

traderumor
01-24-2005, 11:32 AM
I would be fine with a combo of Chris Perry and Kenny Watson. We won't be without a running back.

bomarl1969
01-24-2005, 11:35 AM
What, Harold Green's 3 yards a carry wasn't good enough for you? :MandJ:
I'm referring to the days of this:

Eric Bienemy
Ki-Jana Carter
Garrison Hearst
And even when the franchise were so desperate they sign Barry Foster and a day later he retired.

Danny Serafini
01-24-2005, 11:41 AM
The Barry Foster "era" was pretty sad. At that point in his career though he may have done the Bengals a favor by retiring.

Red Heeler
01-24-2005, 12:20 PM
The good thing about having Lewis running the draft is that there is a chance the Maurice Clarette will not be a Bengal. In the past the only question would have been in what round would the Bengals take him.

In Harold Green's defense, God couldn't have averaged more than 3 yards per carry with that O-line. Same line killed any chance of David Klingler having a decent career.

WVRed
01-24-2005, 06:32 PM
I don't want to return to the mid 90s when the Bengals didn't have a RB. I say sign him for about 3 years, 13 mil. He can live with that.

I could live with that, but the question is, could Rudi? If hes adamant about getting a five year deal or longer, I would look elsewhere for a RB, whether it be Alexander(hope he takes a hometown discount), go with Perry, or draft a Morency or Gore in the 2nd round.

ws1990reds
01-26-2005, 10:56 AM
If he wants to sit out, hes more than welcome, IMO.

The Bengals already have Chris Perry. This years RB class is projected to be very deep, and Florence KY native Shaun Alexander is a FA. There are plenty of options available this offseason, and RB is a fairly easy position to fill.

Projects, projections. There is always the very real possibility of injuries, and given that the RB position is a hot spot for injuries, I'm going to ignore any projections of a deep RB class. Rudi deserves a multi-year deal. He made the Bengals what they likely wouldn't have been without Dillon, had Rudi not carried the club on his shoulders at times.