|While Palmer thinks Johnson will 'bounce back,' that's not who he's calling. (US PRESSWIRE)|
You could argue that one of the many reasons Carson Palmer wanted out of Cincinnati was that he had grown weary of the perpetual "circus is in town" atmosphere. You could also argue that this was in no small part due to Chad Johnson. As it happened, neither Palmer nor Johnson played for the Bengals last season -- the former was traded to the Raiders in October and the latter was shipped to New England over the summer.
And neither player approached the Pro Bowl form they achieved together in Cincinnati, but that doesn't mean there will be a Silver and Black reunion anytime soon to relive those halcyon days. It's not that Palmer wouldn't welcome Johnson to Oakland, he's just not sure the team needs him.
"I don't think we're banged up where we've got guys that are going on IR, you know what I mean? I think that's a different situation," Palmer said according to CSNBayArea.com's Paul Gutierrez. "I had a great time playing with Chad. I had no issues with him at all. He'd be a great add for any team but we've got young guys that are just coming along. I mean Denarius (Moore) will be back any day. Jacoby (Ford's) deal is not that bad. So we're not going to give up on any of those guys. They're too good of players and young."
Oakland has plenty of concerns heading into the regular season but wide receiver isn't one of them. As Palmer points out, the group is both young and explosive. Granted, Moore hasn't practiced since tweaking his hammy August 4, Ford was seen in a walking boot after the Cardinals preseason game and Darrius Heyward-Bey has finally returned to practice after missing time with a shoulder injury, but Palmer seems unconcerned.
Still, despite the periodic frustrations in Cincinnati, Palmer spoke fondly of Johnson.
"We got along great, we got along great," Palmer said recently. "Yeah, Chad and I had a ton of success together. When we were together and he was younger, he led the AFC, he led the league in a lot of categories. He was awesome. And then he got a little bit off track over the years. But he'll be back. He'll bounce back."
Now the question becomes when. The Dolphins released Johnson 11 days ago and there hasn't been any mention of interest from the rest of the league. Given the current state of the Jets' wide receiver depth chart, that's an indictment on Chad's NFL future.
Palmer remains optimistic. "But just knowing Chad, he's been through harder things in his life and he'll bounce back from this," he said.
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