I only have vague memories of this, but in Vinny Cerrato’s first post-Joe Gibbs offseason in charge of the Redskins’ roster, he was hot in pursuit of a No. 1 wide receiver. There was talk about Anquan Boldin, and there was lots of talk about Chad Ochocinco. Here’s what Jason Reid and Jason LaCanfora wrote heading into the 2008 season:
Cerrato, Zorn and their staffs decided the roster was in good shape, and Cerrato was not impressed with many of the available free agents. Cerrato limited himself to re-signing some of Washington’s free agents.
The Redskins toyed with one monster move that would have given the Cerrato era a signature stamp. Starting wide receivers Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El are small at 5 feet 10 and the Redskins wanted a taller target for Jason Campbell, so they offered their 2008 and 2009 first-round picks to the Cincinnati Bengals for wide receiver Chad Johnson, according to league sources. They also held preliminary talks with the Arizona Cardinals about acquiring wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Talks on both deals went nowhere.
But that was via “league sources,” and it didn’t have a comment from Vinny Cerrato. Turns out that Cerrato has now been talking about that offer, in great detail, on Baltimore’s 105.7 The Fan, where he co-hosts a nightly sports show.
Here, for example, is Cerrato discussing the trade offer in late April.
“Do you think that Mike Brown will eventually trade Carson Palmer?” Cerrato asked Cincinnati Enquirer beat writer Joe Reedy. “I mean, I was part of trying to trade for Chad Ochocinco, and when they said no, they meant no. And Marvin [Lewis] would have done it. Two No. 1s, that’s exactly what it was. And I talked to Katie Blackburn’s husband all the time, and he just said listen. I talked to him at the owners’ meetings, and I called him. He said no is no, quit calling, we’re not trading him....
“Drew [Rosenhaus] was pushing it hard, Chad was pushing it hard, and you know what, I think it worked out best for the Redskins that it didn’t happen at the time. I think we ended up with Orapko [sic] and somebody else, so I think that worked out well, and Chad has declined quickly.”
Well, essentially the Redskins ended up with Orapko [sic] and some pass-catching second-round 2008 busts, but still. Trading two No. 1 picks for an aging Chad Johnson would have been monumentally Cerrato like. And somehow, the Bengals refused.
Reedy was on with Cerrato again this month, and the topic of Mike Brown’s stubbornness came up again.
“Oh trust me, I know that for a fact,” Cerrato said. “I’ve been there and done that, tried that.”
“So you’re saying he’s stubborn and unrealistic?” co-host Ken Weinman later asked.
“He is,” Cerrato said. “I’ve dealt with him. He’s definitely that.”