Musings on Chad’s Interview


I was on my way out for the evening when I saw the video of Chad on NFL Network and didn’t have time to do much more than scribble down a few outtakes. Now that I’ve had a chance to come back and digest it, here are some thoughts.

1. Chad seems to feel strongly that he will not be traded. He cites both internal and external conversations, and there’s no waffle in his assessment. No “I’ll let my agent handle that” or “I’m under contract” or “we’ll see what happens,” just a flat-out statement that he’s going to be in stripes for a while.

While anything remains possible, that jibes with my gut, which says the market for Ocho Cinco isn’t what it was last year. Setting aside questions about Chad’s performance in 2008, this is just a better year for his position in the draft, and the looming uncapped year makes any new big-money deal — which normally comes hand-in-hand with a trade — much more difficult to do. Bottom line: fans who are hoping to see one or more extra picks in April as a result of a Chad trade should temper their expectations.

2. I can’t speak for anyone else, but my eyebrows rose when Chad admitted he was responsible at least in part for the offense’s poor showing last season because he and T.J. Houshmandzadeh skipped the offseason program and thus didn’t get into a “flow” with Carson Palmer. This has been a talking point of Carson, Marvin Lewis, and this blog for some time — and one that has previously been dismissed by non-attendees of Cincinnati’s voluntary OTAs. The proof, of course, will be in the pudding: does Chad show up for any of the team’s offseason program? We will see.

3. Whether T.J. actually wants to return I don’t know, but it’s clear from this interview that Chad wants T.J. back. And that’s a not-unimportant consideration for the Bengals this offseason. Making T.J. happy with a big new deal will make Chad happy as well, and a happy Chad and T.J. are much more likely to buckle down in the offseason and work to get the team back to the postseason.

4. Finally, Chad still hasn’t figured out that these media guys aren’t his pals, has he? You would have thought he’d figured that out last year, but his obvious discomfort when Deion Sanders started pressing him on whether or not he was happy to be with the team speaks volumes. He keeps treating these guys as friends off camera, and they keep punking him on-air. Word to the wise, Chad: everything you say to anyone in this league gets around. And anything you say can and will be used against you when the camera lights go on. Until you learn to handle it, my advice is to stay off the air.

Update: Kirk has some thoughts here. I agree completely re: Sanders.