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News » Chad hopes team keeps T.J. around 2008-12-20

Chad hopes team keeps T.J. around 2008-12-20

Chad hopes team keeps T.J. around  2008-12-20
CINCINNATI - Chad Ocho Cinco thinks of himself as more than just a wide receiver. He's an entertainer.

As the Bengals prepared for Sunday's Dec. 21 collision in Cleveland, Ocho Cinco crooned a Michael Jackson tune to teammate T.J. Houshmandzadeh: "I Want You Back."

The wide receiver duo has been together for nine years now - one at Oregon State (2000); eight with the Bengals - and they don't want to split up. But that possibility definitely exists.

After all, Houshmandzadeh's contract expires after the season and he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Ocho Cinco is signed through 2011.

Are games against the Browns and Kansas City Chiefs their final two together?

"It could be," Ocho Cinco said. "I'm not sure how that's going to play out. I think the fans and everyone else, including myself, would love for him to stay.

"It's been a long road, him and I. It's going to feel like somewhat of a bitter divorce. He's been a big help, man. We've been together, what is this, year nine? It'd be kind of funny to see somebody else on the opposite side of me. I'm sure the same for him."

Ocho Cinco is Cincinnati's franchise leader in catches (612) and receiving yards (8,905), while Houshmandzadeh needs eight more receptions to become only the ninth player in NFL history to reach the 100-catch plateau two years in a row. He has 92 this year after sharing the league title with New England's Wes Welker (112) in 2007.

"If you look at the teams that are successful year in and year out, they've got two good receivers," Houshmandzadeh said. "Regardless of what happens, if I'm playing with (Chad) or not, I know he's going to do well in the right situation. I think he thinks the same for me. We'll both be all right."

Using the franchise tag on Houshmandzadeh - a oneyear deal at a cost of over $8 million for 2009 - is an option that would guarantee his return. He's also open to signing a multi-year extension.

"If everything is right, of course, I would be," he said. "I'm comfortable here, but it would have to work out. Everybody knows the variables, this and that, what goes on and why you sign and why you don't sign. If it works out, it works out."

Houshmandzadeh turns 32 on Sept. 26, 2009, but still has plenty of mileage remaining.

Ocho Cinco crooned this verse to management.

"To get to where we want to go, it's very important that T.J. comes back because he's an integral part of this offense," Ocho Cinco said. "We complement each other so well, and to have that change up, it would really be a big blow to this offense and the organization, period."

Next game

Who: Cincinnati Bengals (2-11-1) at Cleveland Browns (4-10)

When: 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 21

TV: WHIO-TV (CBS, Channel 7)

Radio: WLW-AM (700), WTUE-FM (104.7)

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 20, 2008

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