How’s this for a plan?

Chad Ochocinco says he can’t wait to get to Bengals’ minicamp on June 18. Yes, that is the former Chad Johnson talking, the guy who never met a minicamp he didn’t greet with all the enthusiasm of a tax audit.
You might wonder what’s prompted the change of heart. Well, with players it’s always one of two things, and sometimes both things — playing time and, of course, money.
At age 31, with three years left on the six-year, $35.5-million contract he signed in April of 2006, Ochocinco would love to get one more contract before he heads off to the (snicker) Pro Football Hall of Fame. (You do remember the sport coat, right)?
Why else would he clearly reverse his field over the petulant stance he’s taken in the recent past regarding his future with the Bengals?
To its detriment, the Bengals have won the stare-down with Chad over his future in Cincinnati. They haven’t given in to his trade demands, so I guess they’ve won something. What they didn’t win was many games with him, which they might have done without him had they accepted Washington’s offer of two No. 1 draft picks for a guy who caught just 53 passes for 540 yards last season.
Chad promises those numbers will skyrocket this year, because he’s working out, he’s in the best shape of his life, blah, blah, blah.
He knows he can’t force way out of Cincinnati without performing and making himself attractive to other teams, and that won’t happen if the Bengals can get the same production from someone else that they can get from a disinterested Ochocinco.
That’s where Chris Henry, perpetual Bengals’ problem child comes in. Everyone from Carson Palmer to Marvin Lewis has raved not just about Henry’s performance at OTAs, not just about his physical condition, but about his new maturity and approach to football.
The Bengals are working Henry at Johnson’s position — the X, or weak-side receiver spot — and believe he’ll be just as effective on short routes and slants as he has been down the field.
So this is what it’s come to for the Bengals: The insurance policy against Chad Johnson going postal is Chris Henry turning over a new leaf.
Talk about building your foundation on sand.
Henry has five arrests on his resume as a Bengal. He was released by the team on April 3, 2008, and it certainly seemed from Lewis’ cool reaction to his resigning on Aug. 19 that the idea was entirely that of Bengals’ owner Mike Brown.
Henry had 19 catches for 220 yards and two touchdowns last season.
The Bengals, through their own stubborn refusal to trade Ochocinco, and their own cheapness at re-sgning Henry instead of a more expensive replacement, are either off their collective rockers or idiot savants.
They’re pitting their chief head case (Ochocinco) against their chief headache (Henry), hoping to get something out of one or the other.
It might just work.
Then again…

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One Response to “How’s this for a plan?”

  1. Steve Croyle Says:

    The Bengals are a bigger wreck than the Browns because they actually have talent. They just don’t have leadership. If I had to choose between Henry and Ochcinco it’s a no-brainer: Chris Henry’s my guy. I think it’s possible that he finally grew up, put things into perspective and wants to be a good ball player. All you have to do is type Ochocinco and you realize there’s nothing redeeming about Chad. He’s childish enough to have actually changed his name to something as stupid as Ochocinco. The Bengals should have cut him a long time ago.

    Carson Palmer should call a meeting with the Bengals front office and let them know that they need to make a choice between him or Johnson. The Bengals desperately need somebody to step up and make it very clear that the Chad Ochocinco show is over.

    Personally I think the Browns and Bengals should be merged into one team and traded to the CFL for the Calgary Stampeders, but that’s probably not going to happen. The CFL’s not going to fall for it.

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