I can't wait to see how this circus plays out this year.
Report: Johnson says he'll return to Bengalsby FOXSports.com
Updated: June 3, 2008, 2:18 PM EST Chad Johnson has grabbed attention for his on-field play, touchdown celebration dances and incessant trade demands. Now the Bengals' superstar has unleashed another headline:
He's coming back to Cincinnati.
"Am I coming back? Of course I am," Johnson said in an interview with ESPN. "I told my coaches I'm going to California to act, but the truth is I may come back to the Bengals as early as June. I may be crazy but I'm not stupid."
Johnson has been lobbying for a trade out of Cincinnati since the Bengals finished off a frustrating 7-9 season in December. Then, in April, head coach Marvin Lewis essentially called Johnson's bluff, saying the Pro Bowl wide receiver, who finished the 2007 season with 93 catches and a team-record 1,440 yards, should go ahead and sit out the 2008 season because the team would not trade him.
Johnson is under contract with Cincinnati through the 2011 season.
In Johnson's latest interview, however, he seemed to indicate that he would be happy staying with the Bengals if the team was committed to adding the players needed to become a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
"If we want to be like Indy and New England, we have to pay and bring in some difference-makers on defense," Johnson said in the interview. "Our offense is fine. But if they're fussing about paying a guy like me, a guy among the best in the league, you know damn well the Bengals aren't gonna supply the defense with what it needs. So I just said, 'If we aren't gonna do what we need to make us win — can I please leave?' It's simple. I just told 'em: 'If y'all won't change, then I have to.'"
While the return of Johnson may be a welcome sign for many Bengals fans, don't expect the man known as "Ocho Cinco" to be any more soft-spoken.
"It's the reinvention of Ocho Cinco," Johnson said. "I'm dead serious. People need to take me as I am because I just don't give a (expletive) anymore. That's how I'd sum up my attitude for the next season."