Bengals owner Mike Brown has watched from a distance as his star receiver, Chad Ochocinco, pursues almost every sport but football during the NFL lockout -- and for the man signing the paychecks, the act is growing thin.
"He's going to do the things he does. Next maybe he'll be a snake wrangler and we'll watch to see if he gets bit," Brown told The Cincinnati Enquirer on Tuesday at the NFL Spring Meeting in Indianapolis. "He's always up to some stunt. They amuse me in a way. They concern me because, let's face it, we want a football player. We aren't hiring a bull rider, a dancer, a soccer player. We want a football player. It's simple. And that should be the focus, not on other things.
"Chad has a genius for bringing notice to himself," Brown added, but he told the newspaper he didn't intend that to sound critical.
"I've never known any football player who can bring a spotlight on to himself seemingly all year around," he continued. "Is that a good thing or a bad thing? And that gets to be a debate."
Brown wouldn't answer if Ochocinco would be back for his 11th season but said the receiver still could produce on the football field.
"The issue is, does he at this stage of his life have that focus," Brown said.
Along with his frank comments on Ochocinco, the Bengals owner has been busy this week answering questions about quarterback Carson Palmer, who has insisted he will retire if he isn't moved to another team.
"We don't plan to trade Carson," Brown told NFL Network's Albert Breer on Monday. "He's important to us. He's a very fine player, and we do want him to come back. If he chooses not to, he'd retire. And we would go with Andy Dalton, the younger player we drafted, who's a good prospect.
"Ideally, we'd have both of them. That'd be the best way to go forward. If we don't have Carson, we'll go with Andy."