Henry interested in several teams, including Bengals
"We have interest in several teams, including Cincinnati,'' Frazier said Thursday.Frazier says it's still early in the process, but the Bengals have shown preliminary interest in Henry since his assault charge was dropped in Hamilton County (Ohio) court earlier this week. Perhaps expecting a suspension following Henry's fifth arrest, the team released Henry before the legal system ran its course. But Henry says he wouldn't hold any grudges against the organization that drafted him in 2005. In fact, he would welcome a return to the Bengals with open arms. "Going back to the Bengals is possible,'' Henry said. "I wouldn't mind it happening because I loved playing in Cincinnati. I got real close with all the guys out there and I planned on being out there for a long time. I really had a good time playing ball out there in Ohio."
The Bengals, in a prepared statement issued by public relations director Jack Brennan, said they could not respond to Henry's comments about a potential return."Chris is presently under NFL suspension, and until such time as he may be reinstated, we are not in position to comment," the team said. "Even in the event he is reinstated, he is no longer our player, and rarely if ever do we comment on any player who is not under contract with us." Henry says he's been working out and getting back into football shape. He has no doubts that he can help a team this season. He had 88 career receptions for 1,370 yards and 17 touchdowns as Cincinnati's No. 3 receiver behind Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Henry still has to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to seek a lifting of his suspension. A date has not been set, but a meeting could take place within the next two weeks.
"All we could say is this would be reviewed at the appropriate time, and all factors would be considered," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday, when the assault charge against Henry was dropped.
Overall, Henry, 25, knows this is an important time for him, wherever he signs, and he's looking at this opportunity as a new beginning in his life and football career."That's what I'm trying to make it,'' Henry said. "I'm just focusing on what I need to be doing off the field so I can keep doing what I do on the field. I just have to be smart and handle myself like a professional at all times. Off the field, if I'll handle situations like I'm supposed to everything else will take care of itself."
He was suspended by the NFL for eight games last year. When he returned for the second half of the season, he caught 21 passes for 343 yards and two touchdowns.
Henry had nine touchdown catches in 13 games in 2006, when he was suspended by the league for two games and benched for another by coach Marvin Lewis because of misconduct.
Henry's legal problems include arrests for possession of marijuana in northern Kentucky, carrying a concealed weapon in Florida, drunken driving in Ohio and providing alcohol to minors in northern Kentucky.
James Walker covers the NFL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.