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The future is never: Redskins allegedly offer two first round picks for a 30 year old receiver

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Who happens to have a bad attitude.

Typically I'd just promote this prescient diary by CptChaosSidekick as it captures my thoughts on the deal. His words bear repeating:

The fact that this even went down really pisses me off. I continue to be amazed at how little the Redskins value the draft. Chad Johnson is an amazing talent but to keep fleecing our picks away is fucking annoying.

What is it that went down exactly? As ESPN tells the story...

How serious are the Cincinnati Bengals about not giving in to Chad Johnson's trade demands?

Serious enough to swat away an offer from the Washington Redskins that could have netted the Bengals two first-round draft picks, team and league sources said.

The Redskins offered its first-round pick, No. 21 overall, and a conditional third-rounder in 2009 that could escalate to a first rounder if Johnson and the Redskins hit certain performance levels, the sources said.

So forgive a slightly misleading title. While it might've been the case that the team offered only a conditional first rounder in 2009, it's still a heavy trade. I would be interested to know the conditions under which we'd have given up two first round picks, and anything short of Redskins Super Bowl in 2008 is going to give me fits.

How frustrated at least two Redskins fans are that the team even made the offer is one way to look at the trade. How pissed an opposing fan was that his team didn't turn it down is just as telling, and I give you Cincy Jungle:

I guarantee you that the discussion and attitude with fans instantly went from Chad is a prick, to the Bengals front office are bigger idiots than we realized. Still, everyone laughs at our silly little team.

The peanut gallery was no less dismissive of their failure to accept the deal. A representative sampling:

I absolutely agree. I will renounce my Bengals fan status, if this stupidity continues.

Isn't there some way that we could wrest control of the team from the gene-pool diluted Brown family?

The good news is that the Bengals are so insistent on keeping Chad Johnson that they seem perfectly willing to save us from ourselves. It also shows to what lengths other suitors for Johnson, including Dallas and Philly, will have to go to get him. What terrifies me is that I'm unconvinced the Redskins have thrown out their highest offer for Chad Johnson. It is at least possible that we could lower the conditions on that 2009 1st rounder, or even bump it to a 2nd rounder, etc.

Am I being fair? I think it is high time the team took a chance on some draft picks. I believe that when we have drafted, although the amount we've done so is admittedly relatively little compared to other franchises, we've done pretty damn well. Our best class in some time, from top to bottom at least, was 2006; Rocky McIntosh, Anthony Montgomery, and Reed Doughty all started last year, and Kedric Golston appears a very reliable backup for now, perhaps starter in the future. We finally have the draft resources (9 picks, more if we trade down out of #21) so why not take a shot and see what the scouting department can produce?

Is Chad Johnson a great receiver? Hell yea he is, but you'd be expending a huge amount of resources on a guy just so he can also learn a whole new offense with a quarterback doing the same. There will be some growing pains in the new scheme, I fear, and while it is important to get a tall, competent receiver to complement the current unit, it doesn't make sense to break the bank on a brand new golden bullet when you aren't sure the gun is going to fire yet. That'd be no big shakes if CJ were a child, but the dude is 30 years old. There is no doubt that he has some mileage in front of him -- 2007 was, by many measures, his best season -- but if we want to get value from Johnson we need to get it in the present and the future, since he's going to be 31 years old by next January. Can he do that in an entirely new offensive scheme? Maybe, maybe not. What isn't debatable is the cost this team will bear to acquire him, which is substantial.

The above discussion ignores entirely, for the moment, questions Johnson has raised about his own ability to be a team player. For the same reasons last year that I was down on trading for Lance Briggs, I question bringing in a guy who is willing to sit out camp to teach his team a lesson. Can any of us be certain that Johnson won't contribute to tearing this team apart when we're sitting at 5-6 (which is an unusually good place to be at for this team)? Does his attitude comport with the professed, perhaps fictionalized assertion by team representatives that we're interested in having "Redskins guys" on the team? I don't want to compare Johnson's mostly harmless flamboyancy and criminal conduct, but how does this move square with the team's recent signing of Jerome Mathis, which left many of us scratching our heads?

Note: Having said the above, I want to stress that my concerns with Johnson are not, absolutely not, unequivocably not, his enthusiasm for celebration. I love that about him, it tells me he is a passionate guy who wants to win. What I hate about him is the apparently emerging breakdown in Johnson's relationship with his quarterback, and his egomania. This latter isn't even the real issue except when it manifests itself in a contentious relationship he has with his franchise, one that he's called home his entire professional career and that has, by all accounts, made him the star he is today (even if they haven't met his lofty expectations). And I always overstate this, but I also can't help but notice that this guy is the one maneuvering the trade, and that fucking worries me.

Now, breath, get yourself together Skin Patrol. There is good news. First, Marvin Lewis denies this ever went down:

Geoff Hobson, of, reports Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis denied an ESPN report that the team turned down the Washington Redskins offer of a first-round pick this year and potentially next year for WR Chad Johnson. Lewis said that team president Mike Brown has not received a phone call with a trade proposal for Johnson.

I imagine a denial by our own team will follow, though if it doesn't that should be quite telling. That said, consider other sources:

In addition, the Redskins are prepared to guarantee Johnson about $21 million as part of a new contract. ESPN today reported the bulk of what we were told last week and were in the process of confirming with sources familiar with the Redskins' ongoing pursuit of Johnson.

As a rule, teams do not have much to say about such things particularly right before the draft and Redskins officials are currently unavailable to comment. However, the team's annual draft luncheon begins at 1 and you can bet this will be addressed. Stay tuned.

Is it smoke and mirrors produced by agent Drew Rosenhaus to generate interest for his client, or is our franchise legitimately pursuing Chad Johnson and willing to part with picks and a huge chunk of change to get the thirty year old player they want? I vote no, but don't take my word for it, as there will be a poll attached. Elsewhere:

Lee Gibbons at Redskin Report:

Johnson may be an elite NFL receiver, but there is no receiver in the NFL worth two 1st round picks. Even if the performance clauses aren’t met and the pick would have remained a 3rd rounder, its still too much.

AOL Fanhouse:

Cincy's wall comes from the fact that a deal means they take an $8M cap hit (which could be spread out over the next two years). They've also been telling suitors that Chad wants a new, more lucrative deal done wherever he goes ... hopefully to scare everyone off.

Riggo's Rag:

All this in exchange for grumpy, outspoken Chad Johnson. The Bengals refused the offer and informed other NFC East teams that Johnson is not on the trading block. It’s probably for the best.

The Fun Bunch:

The Bengals could really use a couple high draft picks to assemble a team that doesn't spend most of the offseason in prison. That's why they suck so bad. How cool would it be to have Chad Johnson on the Redskins?

Mr. Irrelevant, with the best post title:

So clearly, I’m missing something here. First, the Skins offer entirely too much for Chad Johnson — potentially two first round picks — as they’re wont to do. Second, instead of robbing Washington blind, and sending them a player who isn’t going to show up for camp, Cincy turns down the offer. Third, this was reported by Chris Mortenson, so there is about an 83% chance some or all of it isn’t accurate.

Suffice to say I'm against it, but please, somebody, anybody coax me away from the ledge. Poll attached, probably going on the front page.