NFL: Bengals call Chad’s bluff
CINCINNATI ó The Bengals are calling Chad Johnson’s bluff.
Tired of the receiver’s posturing for a trade, coach Marvin Lewis said Tuesday that Johnson should keep his word and sit out the season ó the strongest comment yet from an organization that is reluctant to let him go.
The Bengals also turned down Washington’s offer of two high-round draft picks for Johnson, who had hoped to be traded before the draft this weekend. The move indicated that Johnson will be staying in Cincinnati, like it or not.
Lewis also said that linebacker David Pollack is leaning toward retirement. The former first-round draft pick broke a bone in his neck while making a tackle during the 2006 season and went through months of difficult healing and rehabilitation.
Pollack’s decision isn’t a surprise. He has said all along that he doubted he would return if there was a chance he could injure his neck again.
Lewis was pointed in his comments about Johnson. The Pro Bowl receiver has been disgruntled since the middle of last season, when his look-at-me antics came under criticism.
He became the epitome of Cincinnati’s 7-9 season when he sniped at quarterback Carson Palmer during a loss to New England. Johnson ran the wrong route on a pass play, resulting in a game-turning interception. He initially blamed Palmer for the problem.
Since the end of last season, Johnson has been lobbying for a trade even though he agreed to a long-term deal with the Bengals two years ago.
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