The Bengals once-great duo may split ways this year. They both played college ball at Oregon State, and then they were both drafted by the Bengals. T.J. Houshmandzadeh is going to be a free agent next month, and Chad may still want the Bengals to release him.
So that brings up the question: Which player is more appealing to other teams?
You have T.J., who is very consistent. He's great at third down catches, and isn’t afraid to take a hit. This is a player that teams strive to have. He's not the one that's going to run 50 yards after the catch, but he's the guy you want to throw to when the game's on the line.
He's not really a first receiver. He needs someone talented on the other side of him to be the most productive. I don't think he can go to somewhere where they favor the run and be at his best. I don't think his numbers will be the best if he is the No. 1 receiver on the team.
Then you have Chad Johnson, who is the big threat. There's no doubt that Chad is a good player. He had a bad season this year, but it's because he's a decoy. Teams double cover him, and with Carson Palmer out with injury, there wasn't a big-arm quarterback to get it to him.
He has some problems, like his dropped passes and penalties for celebration. But all those things are worth it to have a guy like Chad on the team. Without Chad on the field, you don't have a huge threat in the passing game. T.J. is a great receiver, but as I said, he's not your No. 1 guy who you throw to and defenses hold their breath when he catches it.
A lot of people have said Chad has been declining for the past two seasons, but he had the best season of his career in 2007. The only thing bad about that year was that he dropped a lot of balls that could have been big plays.
I think that the Bengals are retarded if they let both players go. If they must get rid of someone, I think it would have to be Chad Johnson. A lot of people are not convinced of what he can do, and his stats show he is on a decline. Although T.J. is more of a possession receiver, I think he's more consistent and will be the best choice for the Bengals to keep.
Carson has been having problems with Chad not only running the wrong routes but running his mouth as well. I think Palmer would much rather have receivers who do their job and come back to the huddle than one who blames other people for his own mistakes.
Cedric Benson is going to be a free agent. It appears that the Bengals are going to be stupid and draft a lineman first round. So, they need to strengthen their passing game, because without drafting a big back like Chris Wells this team is not going to be able to run the ball. They need play makers, and if they let both Chad and T.J. go, the Bengals are looking at another losing season.