The Chad Johnson Trade

The 2008 NFL Draft has come and gone and the Cowboys are essentially in the same position they were in before at wide receiver. What would it take to fill the void by landing Cincinnati's Chad Johnson. explores the possibilities in this report!

So you're sitting there Sunday afternoon, the two-day marathon called the NFL draft is now complete, and there you are patting yourself on the back for a job well done.

Truth is, you really didn't do anything but you feel like you did because lived and died by every single trade up, trade down and pick made by Jerry Jones and company.

Looking back, you're pleased because the Cowboys filled a number of needs, including in the secondary at cornerback and in the backfield at running back.

And the good news is most analysts agree with you. The Mel Kipers of the world have the Cowboys' post-draft grades at B or higher. Not bad. Some even ventured as far as to say Dallas deserves an 'A.' Great.

All is right with the silver and blue nation ... right?

Not so fast. For all the Cowboys did right Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, the one thing they failed to do was pick up a quality wide receiver.

Bu that's not really the fault of the Cowboys mind you. Remember, there were really no quality wide outs available from the college ranks this year. Devin Thomas was good ... but only for a year. Limas Sweed? Well, he was injured. Damaged goods.

DeSean Jackson? Too short. And the list goes on and on.

So where does that leave the Cowboys in terms of the upcoming 2008 season?

To be brutally honest, a little short of their offseason goals. All along, the Cowboys have wanted to add another receiver to the mix, preferrably one who has proven himself in the NFL. One who can help stretch the field while also providing Pro Bowl QB Tony Romo another weapon.

One who could possibly replace veteran wide out Terry Glenn- which brings us to the point of our article.

You see, there's been plenty of debate within the organization regarding the future of Glenn since the 2007 season ended so abruptly in January.

First it was thought Glenn, who turns 34 in July, wasn't going to return in 2008 after having played in just two games last season. He's getting older and he's banged up and furthermore he may require additional offseason surgery just so he can play next year.

Then it was thought Glenn may have a better than average chance of returning to make a significant contribution. And now, Jerry Jones was quoted Tuesday as saying after the draft it was 50-50 on whether or not Glenn would be able to return to the team in a starting capacity.

He might as well have said there's a 50-50 chance Dallas will win a playoff game next season.

Jerry Jones is no fool. He knows his team is on the threshold of competing for a World Championship or two, and he's not going to let the team stand pat at position he desperately needs help with.

Oh sure, Terrell Owens is still Terrell Owens. He's good at least for one more year, if not two. And Patrick Crayton is a good No. 3 wide out. Sam Hurd and Miles Austin? Well, they are good role players ... and that's about it.

Which brings us to the point at hand ... what are the Cowboys going to do between now and the start of training camp?

The likely answer ... TRADE.

Dallas put out feelers for several veteran wide receivers before the draft ... namely Arizona's Anquan Boldin, Detroit's Roy Williams and Cincinnati's Chad Johnson.

For today's purposes, we are going to examine what it would take to land Johnson, aka Ocho Cinco.

Johnson is arguably the top wide receiver in the game today. His production over the course of the last five years has been unmatched by anyone in the league.

And to top it off, he wants out of Cincinnati. He's unhappy and he has demanded a trade before the start of the 2008 season and if the Bengals don't trade him, he'll simply sit out.

At first glance, it appears the pieces for a trade involving Chad Johnson are somewhat in place.

Again, not so fast.

The problem is the Bengals appear to be unwilling to part ways with Johnson unless the trade of the millennium goes down.

Case in point, in an April 23 report on, the Redskins were apparently willing to part ways with two No. 1 picks- one in 2008 and another in 2009, to land the controversial wide out.

Cincinnati in turn said, "Thanks, but no thanks."

And keep in mind that offer came days after Washington originally offered a first and a third round pick in the 2008 draft, as well as $21 million in guaranteed money as part of a new contract.

In other words, they wanted Johnson badly enough to increase an already nice offer of a first and third rounder.

Where is the Randy Moss for a fourth-round pick trade when you need it?

Head coach Marvin Lewis also later said, "I've stated our case with Chad. He has a contract through 2011. He's stated without an opportunity to go to a different team and a new contract, he wasn't going to play. I think he's a man of his word and says he's not going to play, so don't play."

As things stand now, the Bengals appear to be poised to play the 2008 season without Chad Johnson and furthermore they aren't even willing to consider serious trade discussions.

The key word there is "now."

As training camp draws closer, if Johnson continues with this stance of not wanting to play in Cincinnati, and we believe he will, the Bengals would be foolish not to seriously consider other options.

While Bengals ownership has a history of not giving into trade demands of players, talk to Corey Dillion, Johnson's value is simply too much to ignore. After all, we are talking about one of the top three wide receivers in the league here.

So what it would take to even get the Bengals' attention?

Unfortunately, a lot. A whole lot.

It starts with the Cowboys' 2009 first round draft pick. That's a given. A lock. A must.

Dallas would have to be willing to part ways with it's first round selection next year to even open the door for the possibility of a trade for Chad Johnson.

Trading two first round picks, however, would be out of the question after the Joey Galloway fiasco from earlier this decade, so a Redskins-like deal from earlier this month would be off the table. (Thankfully.)

In all likelihood, Dallas would have to put together a deal that includes a first round pick in 2009, and probably a third rounder in 2009 and another pick later to even have a shot at landing Chad Johnson.

That's three picks in next year's draft for one player.

While it sounds like too much, consider who the Cowboys would be getting and consider how his presence could change the course of the 2008 season.

Also consider Dallas has stockpiled picks in next year's draft, which is one of the main reasons we've shifted our stance on a trade for a veteran wide receiver before the start of training camp.

With all of the trades from this past weekend, Dallas now finds itself with an additional third and fourth round pick in the 2009 draft. That's ammunition to do certainly at least try something.

The beauty of the whole situation is Dallas, with the crafty Jones leading the way, could be in position to put together a conditional deal, similar to what was done with Pacman.

Johnson plays well, Cincinnati receives a third pick, possibly in the fourth or fifth round. He bombs and Dallas only loses two picks, including a first and possibly a later pick in the 2009 draft- pending on just how crafty Jones can be.

The key however, rests with the Bengals.

Cincinnati ownership has to come to terms with the idea of Johnson leaving the Queen City before the start of training camp. Once that happens, considering the Redskins are no longer a factor, having drafted both Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly last weekend, the Cowboys would be on deck.

And considering just what Chad Johnson brings to the table, that's not a bad place to be.

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