Sunday, March 23, 2008

For Bengals, money speaks louder than Chad Johnson

For Bengals, money speaks louder than Chad Johnson

Cincinnati Bengals officials insist they aren't going to budge, even as chatty receiver Chad Johnson continues to make noise by saying he wants to play elsewhere the Boston Globe reported.

Johnson most recently said he doesn't plan to show up for the Bengals' offseason program, which starts Monday.

Besides Johnson's vital presence in the offense, the Bengals aren't willing to move him because of the economic considerations. After paying him approximately $16 million over the last two seasons, the Bengals would take an $8 million salary cap hit by trading Johnson before June 1. While the Bengals aren't always known for their business acumen, even they can figure this one out.

If Miami keeps No.1 pick, Long could be the choice
If the Miami Dolphins and Bill Parcells stays put at No. 1, Virginia DE Chris Long, the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long, is likely to be his pick unless Parcells determines before the April 26 draft that quarterback John Beck, the second-round pick of the previous regime, has no chance to be a player. Then he would take Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan. Veteran Josh McCown, recently signed as a free agent, is a classic Parcells hold-the-fort guy according to the New York Daily News.

Parcells left the impression he would love to trade down a few times and turn that one pick into five of the 25 to 30 new players he anticipates being on the 1-15 team he is trying to resurrect. And that would prevent Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga and his new partner Stephen Ross from signing off on the $30 million guaranteed that will go to the No. 1 pick. That makes it much harder to deal out of the spot than 10 years ago.

"I'm not sure anybody is interested in the pick," Parcells said. "The economics of the pick are a little more devastating if it doesn't work out. You have to have some willing partners of the trade-down thing. We're in position where we are assuming we are going to make the pick."

Could Holmgren get a Parcells-like job in San Francisco?

Mike Holmgren didn't even want to talk about a new contract to coach the Seattle Seahawks and will be a lame duck this season before he is replaced by Jim Mora in 2009 the New York Daily News reported.

Is he done with the NFL? One source says, "He's enamored with what Parcells is doing in Miami. I can see San Francisco getting to that point."

If Mike Nolan doesn't win this year, he will get fired. He already lost his GM responsibilities. The next step for the Niners is starting over, and although Holmgren didn't distinguish himself as the Seahawks' GM, it might have been because he was coaching, too.

First-round mock draft: Long climbing
Michigan tackle Jake Long has made strides in the latest mock draft. Check out where they think he'll go.

Utecht joins Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals waited a week before learning that tight end Ben Utecht would be one of them. Now they'll have to wait another week for the former Indianapolis Colts tight end to be available for the Bengals' offseason strength and conditioning program the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

The Bengals learned Saturday morning from the NFL office that the Colts chose not to match Cincinnati's offer sheet of a three-year, $9 million contract to Utecht. The midnight deadline passed silently overnight Friday without the Colts saying a word.

The Bengals signed Utecht to the offer sheet March 14 as a restricted free agent. Because Indianapolis had extended to him a one-year, $927,000 qualifying offer, the club had one week to match any offer sheet Utecht might have signed.

Bush recommitting himself to Saints, football

New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush plans to take part in the team's offseason program after spending most of last offseason in Southern California according to the Boston Globe.

After a dynamic rookie season, Bush felt he slipped last season, partly because he missed the final four games with a knee injury. That led critics to wonder whether Bush can succeed in the NFL.

The 23-year-old Bush said he's spent plenty of time reflecting and is recommitting himself this offseason. "I'm taking a whole different approach this year in just how I go about my business and my life," he said.

Ryan isn't the only pro prosect at Boston College

A contingent from the Miami Dolphins is scheduled to work out Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan and offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus on campus Monday, according to Cherilus's agent, Greg Diulus.

Yet while Ryan is garnering more attention, not to be overlooked is how Cherilus (6 feet 6 inches, 314 pounds) has built momentum this offseason, most recently running impressive 40 times of 5.00 and 5.06 at BC's Pro Day according to the Boston Globe.

A projected mid-to-late first-round pick, Cherilus had dinner with a five-member contingent from Carolina that night — a group that included Panthers general manager Marty Hurney and offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson — and he has visits scheduled with the Falcons, Giants, Steelers, and Lions. The Vikings also are attempting to schedule a visit, while the Bears and Jets were previously in to work him out.