Chad Johnson to Al Davis: "Come Get Me"
It appears wide receiver Chad Johnson is willing to sit out an entire season if he's forced to stay with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008.
Luckily, even playing for the Oakland Raiders beats sitting out.
In fact, it looks like Ocho Cinco would have no problem playing with the silver and black next season.
On ESPN's "Jim Rome is Burning" last week, Raiders linebacker Kirk Morrison was sent to Radio Row to perform pre-Super Bowl XLII interviews. One of the first guests Morrison spoke with was the animated Johnson.
Morrison attempted to kindly initiate a conversation by asking, "What brings you out here?"
By the time the 25-year-old linebacker got to the "out here" part, Johnson was already chiming in.
"Yes, I will come to the Raiders," the four-time Pro Bowl wideout said. "Yo, Al (Davis), come get me. I don't play defense, but I'm telling you: I can turn the black hole white."
Whether Johnson is completely serious in his request is still up in the air. After the statement, Morrison shared a laugh with the 29-year-old pass catcher before pursuing other interviews.
One thing is for sure, however: Johnson doesn't want to play for the Bengals anymore.
Sunday, ESPN analyst Chris Mortensen cited an unidentified source, stating that Johnson "...feels betrayed by head coach Marvin Lewis and is privately threatening to sit out the 2008 season if he isn't traded."
The 6-foot-1, 192-pounder hauled in 93 receptions for a career-high 1,440 yards and eight touchdowns last season, but felt he was the target of much unwarranted blame all throughout the year and also stated that his coach completely stopped talking to him early on in the season.
"I'm not allowed to say [whether or not I'm happy]. I get the blame, the so-called best player. I'm the problem," Johnson commented on Rome's nationally syndicated radio show last week.
"Someone in-house is spreading this. Maybe they want me to quiet down [and] stop being me. That is not going to happen. I can't function that way. I tried it. It sucked. There was no excitement."
Since being drafted 36th overall in 2001, Johnson has spent his entire seven-year career with the Bengals, for whom he's caught 559 passes for 8,365 yards and 49 TDs.
The ex-Oregon State standout has posted six consecutive 1,000-plus yard seasons and hasn't missed a start since Nov. 30, 2003. That week, he caught six passes for 117 yards and touchdown.
For the disgruntled Johnson, though, getting his way won't be such an easy thing.
The Miami native signed a $35.5 million extension in April of 2006, which keeps him under contract with Cincinnati through the 2011 campaign.
Lewis has already publicly stated that the team won't trade No. 85. For that reason, threatening to sit out the entire '08 season to force a trade isn't so outlandish.
If there's one thing Davis isn't afraid to do, it's pursue big names.
They got Moss, his baggage and his $7.25 million base salary in exchange.
The season before heading to Oakland, Moss had caught just 49 passes for 767 yards. Johnson nearly doubled those totals in 2007.
So "come get me," Johnson tells the 78-year-old Davis.
Kidding or not, Davis will likely take a shot at Ocho Cinco. We'll see how serious Johnson is then.
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