TJ to join Chad in the "no show" category
Cincinnati wide receiver Chad Johnson already has stated he does not plan to attend the Bengals' voluntary offseason conditioning program that starts Monday.
But he is not going to be alone.
Cincinnatiís other Pro Bowl wide receiver, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, also is expected to skip the start of the voluntary conditioning program for some of the same reasons Johnson is not attending.
It sets up one of the stickiest situations in the NFL, an issue that threatens to hang over the team until and through training camp.
Cincinnati has two Pro Bowl wide receivers, each of whom believes he is underpaid, each of whom wants a new deal, each of whom is expected to be absent from Paul Brown Stadium for the start of Mondayís offseason drills.
Houshmandzadeh is in the final year of four-year contract that is scheduled to pay him a base salary of $2.525 million. He failed to show up to the Bengals' offseason conditioning program last season and, without a new deal before this yearís offseason conditioning program, Houshmandzadeh is not about to attend now. It is the reason he is not expected Monday or anytime shortly thereafter.
Cincinnati already has wrestled with the best way to handle the Johnson situation; it has made it known to any team that calls the team that the Bengals will not, under any circumstance, trade Johnson. They refuse to 86 "85." So now the Bengals are assured of having at least one unhappy wide receiver.
The interesting part is, will they have two? Unlike Johnson, Houshmandzadeh never has had his deal restructured in Cincinnati. Unlike Johnson, who has three years left on his contract, Houshmandzadeh has only one.
If Cincinnati spends on any Pro Bowl wide receiver, it would seem that Houshmandzadeh has next.
But Houshmandzadeh and Johnson appear to have made their decision in regard to next week and this offseason. Itís up to the Bengals to make theirs.
An excited shade of Red