Chad to fans: 'I love you Cincinnati; I acted psycho'
Cincinnati Bengals outspoken wide receiver Chad Johnson reiterated, "I love you, Cincinnati," and said he realizes there are fans that have turned against him while recalling Kobe Bryant got booed in the first game of what turned out to be an NBA MVP season following his trade demands of last summer.
But Johnson said Thursday that he hopes his fans here understand the trade tirades had nothing to do with his feelings for them and it was venting from a 7-9 season and what he felt was a lack of attention to upgrading the defense. What he called "in-house" criticism also set him off. He doesn't think he had a good year ("I set a high standard," he says), but he also knows he's not the only one.
"I love them. I hope they understand it's just business," Johnson said. "I felt in that three-month period the best thing for me was to get out of Cincinnati. I was just going through some things and I thought it was the best move for me. Obviously not. I'm still here. Yeah, it was the losing. It got on my nerves.
"I did everything under the sun to get out of here. I acted psycho. I posed my case. I talked with my owner, who loves me dearly. He must. Those offers were unheard of. And he still said no. Really, I'm not that good."
Bengals president Mike Brown informed Johnson that he was going nowhere because the club didn't believe it could immediately replace the value of a four-time AFC receiving yardage champion. That included Washington's offer of what amounted to two first-round draft picks. Plus, the Bengals didn't want to deal with salary cap acceleration.