It certainly appears that Chad Johnson is doing his best to talk his way out of Cincinnati this offseason much like Terrel Owens did here. However, there's on significant difference... actually, make that 8 million reasons. Don Banks illustrates them in a recent column.
It's not likely because of the impact that losing Johnson would have on the Bengals' salary cap. If Cincinnati either trades or releases their talkative receiver, it will have to absorb a 2008 cap hit of slightly more than $8 million. While the salary cap rises another $7 million this season to $116 million, that's still a sizable chunk of dead money that would ensue from Johnson's departure.
That's probably the No. 1 reason Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has come out and shot down any notion Johnson will be on the trading block this offseason. Still, Johnson clearly hopes to follow in the recent footsteps of No. 1 receivers such as Terrell Owens and Randy Moss in prompting a trade, but odds are his uneasy marriage with the Bengals will continue this year unless complete insubordination is his exit strategy.
When the Eagles cut Owens, his contract had been structured in such a way that the team had very little dead money on the books as a result. In fact, that seemed to be one of the reasons he was so upset. While his contract was a massive number and one that made him one of the top paid WRs in the game, the amount of guaranteed money was low. The Bengals are not in that position. Chad Johnson can whine all he wants about being disrespected, but it's hard to see how the Bengals would be so sick of him that they'd be willing to take an $8 million hit on this year's cap for a player that won't even be on their team? Let's also not forget that trading Chad would likely upset their franchise QB, Carson Palmer, who has publicly defended Johnson on several occasions this year.