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Brown on T.O.: ‘It’s up to him’

Geoff Hobson of has a juicy morsel from today’s media luncheon with the Bengals brass.

Essentially, Owner Mike Brown has confirmed that the team remains interested in T.O., and they apparently have a offer on the table.

“We have interest. We are talking to him.” Brown was quoted as saying. “It’s up to him.”

While there’s been a lot of speculation this week about a potential deal, efforts have been made to squash the validity of the reports, with both the Owens and Bengal camps denying any deal had been done.  Nonetheless, with the health of WR Antonio Bryant’s knee being called into question, T.O.’s desire to play for a contender, and Chad’s uber enthusiasm for the idea, Brown appears to remain intrigued with the possibility of adding another playmaker to the offense.

Its a widely recognized fact that Mr. Brown loves offense, particularly the passing game, and he seems to sense the team can realistically dream big. “We have ambitions to have that one golden year,” Brown said, “but this year more than most in recent times I think we have a better shot at it.”

To speculate myself for a moment, the Bengals likely have an offer on the table, and have since at least the weekend, but the team is probably looking to capitalize on a buyer’s market for T.O.’s services.  The offer is certainly less than the 5 million a year he’s reportedly looking for, and is more likely in the 2 million range on a one-year deal.

Unless another team emerges, T.O. will probably be faced with these options as camp approaches:

  1. Play for a contender in Cincinnati but get paid less and have to share the spotlight.  You’ll get a franchise QB throwing you the ball and a legit pro-bowler in Chad Ochocinco on the other side. 
  2. Play for an also-ran in St. Louis but get paid more and be the man. Your QB will be a rookie and the other WR will be Donnie Avery.

At almost 37 years old, option one might be the best fit for him.

Stay tuned.

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