Houshmandzadeh anticipates 'problem' if Johnson not dealt

Updated: April 17, 2008, 10:35 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh said Thursday the poor relationship between the Cincinnati Bengals and disgruntled receiver Chad Johnson could pose problems for the team.

Houshmandzadeh
Houshmandzadeh

"If he's not traded, it's going to be a problem," Houshmandzadeh told ESPN's Bob Holtzman.

Houshmandzadeh told ESPN he talked with Johnson and quarterback Carson Palmer on Wednesday after Johnson demanded to be traded by Cincinnati.

Houshmandzadeh said Johnson told him he wasn't playing. But Houshmandzadeh said: "I think he'll eventually show up, but then you have to worry about how much of a distraction he'll be," Houshmandzadeh told ESPN.

Johnson said Wednesday that he wants out of Cincinnati as fast as possible and he doesn't plan on reporting for any future Bengals functions -- mandatory or voluntary.

What spurred Johnson's immediate reaction was a statement made by Palmer that indicated Johnson had told the quarterback he would be at the team's mandatory minicamp in mid-June. Johnson said that wasn't true.

"I want to make this very clear,'' Johnson told ESPN.com's John Clayton on Wednesday. "I don't know where he got that. I made no assertion to Carson that I would do that. Nothing has changed from what I've been saying for three months that I don't want to play for the Bengals.''

Johnson made one of his strongest statements in saying he is not planning on reporting to any team functions because he wants to be traded.

"I want to be traded before the draft, and if that doesn't happen, I want to be traded as soon as possible,'' Johnson told ESPN.com. "I don't intend on reporting to anything.''

Houshmandzadeh told ESPN that Johnson spent most of the past few months not returning Palmer's phone calls. Houshmandzadeh said Palmer and Johnson have talked a few times recently.

Houshmandzadeh, who said he's talked to Johnson more this offseason than ever, revealed to ESPN that Johnson started talking about wanting out of Cincinnati during last season.

He said the Bengals are in a no-win situation.

"If we keep him and don't win, he'll tell everyone 'I told you so,'" Houshmandzadeh said.

Information from ESPN's Bob Holtzman and ESPN.com's John Clayton was used in this report.

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