Posted: 2:55 p.m.
HoushmandzadehBengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh said Thursday he's been called to next week's NFL summit in Indianapolis to help commissioner Roger Goodell counter the league's off-field woes.
Houshmandzadeh said he received a call from NFL Players Association official Troy Vincent and believes he's one of a handful of players meeting with Goodell, NFLPA officials, and some owners to discuss the sharp increase in player arrests around the NFL. The meeting coincides with the NFL's annual scouting combine for top prospects in the April draft.
Houshmandzadeh realizes that the Bengals are a blip on the radar screen because of their nine arrests since Dec. 15, 2005. But he also knows the gun charges faced by Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson and the second DUI arrest of Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen have put other teams in the spotlight.
"After I tell him what I think, I'll tell you what I think," said Houshmandzadeh, when asked what he'd say to Goodell. "I think it's been a problem for us from the standpoint of having to always answer the same questions over and over from the media. And it probably makes guys who are playing behind guys that get in trouble wonder what's going on."
Houshmandzadeh is one of the more high-profile members of the team as he comes off a 90-catch year and his first 1,000-yard season.
"I'm going to be honest. That's all you can do," Houshmandzadeh said.
Both Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and president Mike Brown are on record as saying the club will not discount character as readily in this draft.
Goodell said earlier this month at the Super Bowl that he has sent league official and Hall of Fame cornerback Mike Haynes to Cincinnati to discuss possible counseling programs.