Chad Johnson Feels Sorry for Himself, Wants Out of Cincinnati
It was fun while it lasted. Chad Johnson spent seven years in Cincinnati, racked up 559 receptions for 8,365 yards, and hauled in 49 touchdown passes. But now it's time to move on, at least according to Chad. Ocho Cinco was on ESPN radio's Mike & Mike this morning and made it pretty clear that his future isn't with the Bengals. Via the Cincinnati Enquirer's Mark Curnutte:
"I was labeled selfish and a cancer, and it hurt," he said. "Fingers were pointed at me this year. If the team and the organization wants to further itself (make the playoffs), I think you need to get rid of the problem. I will say this: Johnson wears his emotions on his sleeve. I'm not talking about the choreographed post-score shimmies, or the fancy game-day gold fronts, but that you got the sense that he genuinely wanted people to like him. And what better way to do that than by putting up huge numbers?
"It hurt me. To do me that way and not to have my back. Things were said, and nobody came to my defense."
Johnson's as affable as they come, but he can also be brusque when pushed (see this October interview with Keyshawn Johnson for such an example). And 2007 was proof.
As I wrote three months ago, it's kind of disingenuous to call Chad the problem in Cincinnati just because the team had a down season. I mean, he finished the year with 93 catches, 1,440 yards, and eight touchdowns. That fans who once looked forward to his touchdown celebrations suddenly found them selfish and overused smacked of misguided frustrations with the team's failings. Johnson was the same guy he'd always been.
Who knows how this ends up, but I can't imagine the Bengals will be a better team without Ocho Cinco.