Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh is not expecting to get the franchise tag, and if he does, he could make things very difficult in Cincinnati.
"I don't want any part of the tag," he told the Dayton Daily News. "The more I think about, I don't think I'll be franchised. It's a lot of money. If you franchise somebody what are you saying about the player? Obviously, you think he is that type of player, and if you think he's that type of player then you're franchising him.
"That shows you within itself that OK we think he's one of the better players and we're going to franchise him. If that's the case give him a contract like your franchising him. That's how I see it and don't see the franchise thing happening."
Houshmandzadeh went on to say he wouldn't participate in offseason activities if the team tags him.
"Coach Lewis made an emphasis of wanting guys at the offseason programs, on the field sessions and things of that nature. If I get franchised I'm not going to be there," he told the newspaper.
"So it goes against everything that the coaches want. You can't have the coach come out and say one thing and do another. If you do, then you're not going to have the cohesiveness he said he wanted when the season ended."
The Bengals would have to pay Houshmandzadeh $9.88 million for one season if they tagged him. NFL Network's Adam Schefter has previously reported that Cincinnati will not use the franchise tag.
As for where he'll play in 2009, Houshmandzadeh didn't sound too broken up about possibly finding a new home.
"It would be cool to remain with the Bengals because I got my start there," Houshmandzadeh said. "I'm not a person that prefers lots of change in my life, but if change has to happen, then change has to happen."
If you missed it (you'd have to be living under a rock for this to be the case), Houshmandzadeh told ESPN 950's Mike Missanelli last week that he could be a nice fit in Philadelphia.
Teams have until Feb. 19 to use the tag.