Lewis, Ochocinco finally speak

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis says that he has spoken with Chad Ochocinco and that he anticipates the receiver showing up for the team’s June 18 minicamp.

Lewis acknowledged after Tuesday’s practice that he talked to Ochocinco a few days ago, a rarity in an offseason Ochocinco has been ducking calls from the 513 area code.

“The biggest thing I told Chad just the other day is with a lot of the new things we’re doing he’s going to have to play catch up,” Lewis said. “He’s excited about that and is working hard. Chad learns football very quickly and he’ll be able to get his feet on the ground. What he found last year when you’re working with a team and you’re doing football, there’s a lot more stress on it. When he gets here I will judge how much football I’ll allow him to do until he proves he’s in the shape our players are in.”

The Ocho didn’t report until mandatories last year, which he limped through because he needed arthroscopic ankle surgery. Then after missing the first week of training camp, he missed the last two weeks of the preseason with a separated shoulder.

Asked if The Ocho is going to be his starting receiver in two weeks, Lewis said, “I’ll see him when I see him.”

It’s about time Ochocinco earns a starting spot. It’s been a long time since he’s had to work for a starting gig and this is the perfect offseason for Lewis to drum up some much-needed competition in Bengals camp. Ironically, the person likely to give Ochocinco his biggest competition is Chris Henry, who has apparently been outstanding so far in workouts.

If Ochocinco shows up to camp and outperforms Henry, then he deserves the starting gig. But if Henry beats him, then Ochocinco should accept his role (whatever it may be) and stop being a distraction.

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Bengals next up for “Hard Knocks” series

HBO chose to film the dysfunctional Bengals for its next installment of “Hard Knocks.”

The cable channel and NFL Films chose one of the league’s least-successful teams of the last 18 years for its next “Hard Knocks” training camp series. Last year, the Dallas Cowboys were the ones followed through training camp.

HBO started the program in 2001 with the Baltimore Ravens. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was the defensive coordinator in Baltimore then, so he’s familiar with how it works. Still, television executives had to do some arm-twisting to get the team to go along.

The Bengals have only one winning record since 1991, when owner Mike Brown took over. One intriguing subplot will be how Brown, who shies away from cameras, comes across in the episodes. Brown didn’t attend a news conference about the show.

If there’s a better fit for “Hard Knocks”, I’m hard pressed to think of it. Having the opportunity to be filmed on a daily basis should make Chad Ocho Cinco’s day and maybe get him to stop crying (literally) about wanting to get traded.

Marvin Lewis: Chad Johnson won’t be traded

Chad Ocho CincoMarvin Lewis reiterated on Tuesday that wide receiver Chad Ocho Cinco Johnson will not be traded.

From Rotoworld.com:

Coach Marvin Lewis said at the Bengals’ pre-draft presser Tuesday that Chad Johnson will not be traded.

“Chad’s not getting moved,” Lewis said. “I don’t know why people continue with the speculation.” The Bengals reportedly haven’t even been offered a third-round pick for Ocho, who is allegedly “crying” again to get out of Cincy.

There’s a good chance that the Bengals can’t move Ocho Cinco because nobody wants to give up a second or even third round pick to acquire him. And if a team did cough up a second or third rounder for him, they’d have to hope that he stays motivated enough to win.

The bottom line is that Ocho Cinco’s trade value has never been lower. He’s 31 years old and is coming off a poor year. If you were the GM of an NFL team, would you want to give up a second round or even third round pick for him? I wouldn’t, especially considering the draft is deep at the receiver position this year.

Housh: ‘Chad Johnson crying to get out of Cincinnati’

As Peter King writes in his latest addition of “Monday Morning Quarterback”, Chad Johnson desperately wants out of Cincinnati and recently cried on the phone to former teammate T.J. Houshmandzadeh about it.

“Chad Johnson called me today. Crying. He wonders why everyone can get traded but him.”

— Former Johnson teammate T.J. Houshmandzadeh, now with Seattle, on NFL Network Friday night.

Ocho Cinco wasn’t crying when the Bengals signed him to a six-year, $35.5 million contract in 2006 was he?

I know Cincinnati is one of the black holes in the NFL, but just once I would like to hear a player that is stuck on a bad team say that he’s going to do everything in his power to get his club to win. I have no idea what Johnson is going through, so maybe I should just shut my mouth, but why can’t he say, “Hey, with Carson Palmer back to full health and Laveranues Coles next to me, we’re really going to do things next year”? And then go out and prove it by showing up to all the offseason workouts and training his ass off.

But no, instead, players like Johnson cries (literarily) and throws a hissy fit until their team finally gives in and trades them for less than they’re ultimately worth. It’s ridiculous.

Chad Ocho Cinco likely staying in Cincinnati

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Chad Ocho Cinco is unlikely to be traded this offseason by the Bengals

Chad JohnsonThe primary people, agent Drew Rosenhaus and Ocho Cinco, are not saying anything. Last year, both were telling every media outlet within shouting distance that they wanted out of Cincinnati. This year Rosenhaus is staying true to his word by working behind the scenes and staying quiet.

According to ESPN.com, the Bengals’ salary-cap hit would be $4.87 million. It is a high figure, but not a crippling amount that might preclude a trade from happening.

Whenever he’s been asked, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has said he expects Ocho Cinco to be here and that he should have a good season. But at the league meetings a couple weeks ago, Lewis also said something that can be construed as a personal challenge to Ocho Cinco:

“In order to get back to being the Chad Johnson that everybody feared, he was a guy who worked very, very hard at his craft. And if you don’t do that, it falls away very quickly and people forget about you.”

So will Ocho Cinco be traded? Unlike last year, when there was a zero percent chance, it’s slightly possible. There is only one person who is going to make the final decision, and that is club president Mike Brown.

Considering Johnson is coming off one of his worst seasons of his career, is already 31 and didn’t show up to voluntary workouts, why would any team give up a high draft pick for him? Anyone who thinks the Bengals will be able to get a first or second round pick for him at this point is dreaming.

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