Posted: 9:50 p.m.
Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, in town next week for a football clinic, says he may be at the club's last set of voluntary workouts if he can rearrange some commitments back home in California.
"Since I'm going to be back there, I'm thinking I'll come in early and get some work in Tuesday and Wednesday. But I don't know if I can leave here by then," he said.
Houshmandzadeh, just off an all-day stint Thursday on the set of NFL Network, admitted he got the urge to get back on the field when he saw Solomon Wilcots' inside look at the Bengals voluntary workouts for the league channel.
"They showed the weight room, the cafeteria, they didn't show much on the field," he said. "From a competitive standpoint, yeah, it got me going."
"Nobody got it right. A few came real close," he said. "There was a couple from Cincinnati. They didn't think it was really me."
Houshmandzadeh said head coach Marvin Lewis has spelled out his position to him.
"I talked to the head honcho," he said. "He said what all head honchos say: 'You need to be here.' "
Houshmandzadeh, who has indicated he'll be at the June 12-14 mandatory minicamp, has an idea whether or not fellow Pro Bowl wide receiver Chad Johnson is going to show then.
"But with Chad the ideas are never firm so I'm not going to say," Houshmandzadeh said.
Asked if Johnson is still disgruntled, Houshmandzadeh said, "It just depends what day you catch him. I don't think much has changed."
Houshmandzadeh expected Johnson in Los Angeles Thursday night for some workouts at a receiver camp the next few days.
"We're really going to grind it," Houshmandzadeh said.
As for people who question his lack of commitment to the team for not being here the last three weeks, Houshmandzadeh said, "I think this is something that the media really doesn't understand. These are voluntary. They say if you want to win, you'd be there. But if a guy is working out every day and getting in the best shape he can be, I don't see the problem. On the flip side, I can see the other side of the argument."
Houshmandzadeh, heading into the last year of his deal, says it's not about the contract. He has pointed to the comfort of his training regimen and being close to his wife and two daughters as the reasons for staying out West, which he did last year and it resulted in a career year.
But he also said, "There are a lot of things you have to look at," and pointed to the season-ending knee injury suffered recently by Browns cornerback Daven Holly as he headed into a contract year.
"Is the team going to come back and say, 'We'll pay you anyway?' " he asked. "I'm not saying that's a reason. Football is football. If it's going to happen it's going to happen.
"A guy like Carson (Palmer) knows he's going to be the quarterback of the Bengals for a long time. Same thing with a guy like (defensive end) Robert Geathers. I'm not talking money, but the term of the contract. There are a lot of things to look at."
Asked if he's talked to the Bengals about a new deal, Houshmandzadeh said, "I've talked to them about one as much as you've talked to Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie. But I'm not mad or anything like that. I'm getting ready to play. If it happens, it happens. I don't have any expectations one way or the other."