This can’t come as much of a surprise. The man only caught 15 balls last season for 276 yards and only one touchdown. In a pass happy offense like the Patriots have that is not very good.
Bottom line was simply that the Patriots have better veteran talent and some promising young guys that the team would like to keep around for a while. No one wanted to trade for him, so it was time for Chad Ochocinco to take his act elsewhere.
It wasn’t that long ago that he was pretty productive. Six straight seasons of 1100+ yards is nothing to shake a stick at. The last three in Cincy were not as good, but that was more because of a lack of talent at QB and sharing the spotlight with Terrell Owens.
The man is a workout warrior; he is in great shape. Defenders will still have to account for him whenever he steps on the field. If they don’t he has the ability and skills to torch them.
The question is who could want him and where he might actually go. Here are just a few possibilities:
New York Jets: NYC is short on experience at wideout and with a pair of average passing QBs in Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow (yes, I said—Tebow is average at something!!!) the team needs guys that could make plays on their own. Since Santonio Holmes wants to start fights during games and wants to whine about practice…
Houston Texans: Matt Schaub is a solid QB and with defenses having to respect the run first Houston receivers tend to have it a little easier than some (unless your name is Andre Johnson). The Texans do not have much in the way of proven talent at the position, and with Johnson’s recent injury history could really use a veteran here.
Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo will get him the ball and the ‘Boys need a reliable No 3 receiver. They are so desperate for it that rumors of TO rearing his ugly head in Big D have surfaced.
Minnesota Vikings: These guys are desperate for good wideouts, but with Christian Ponder still getting his feet wet I don’t see Ochocinco jumping at this team unless no one else calls.
Carolina Panthers: While playing with guys like Cam Newton and Steve Smith will appeal to him, the Panthers are a long way from being a competitor. That will not appeal to him.
Chad Ochocinco is not washed up yet. Since teams can justify low-balling his salary due to last season’s disappearing act I can see a number of teams trying to add him to the roster. The only trick will be if his ego gets in the way.
(Chad Ochocinco at his finest!)