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Ochocinco’s contract has no “option” for 2011

Chad Ochocinco

A strange theory has been making its way through the media this week regarding the status of receiver Chad Ochocinco in Cincinnati. Vague references have been made:  (1) to an “option” on Ochocinco’s contract for 2011; (2) to the notion that the team has already exercised the “option”; and (3) to the idea that if they hadn’t they would have owed him $3.5 million.

For 2011, there is no decision that the Bengals have to make, no “option” to exercise.  They simply hold Ochocinco’s rights via a contract that pays him a base salary of $6 million in the next football season, whenever the next football season may commence.

But yet Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com writes, “There is a school of thought out there that believes the Bengals already exercised the team option on The Ocho and he’s under contract for ’11.  That would mean there would be no timetable for a decision and if anybody is looking to get him they may have to trade for him.”

Hobson’s bottom-line message is accurate — the Bengals owe Chad nothing at all until the season begins, which means there truly is no timetable for a decision regarding 2011 (other than the commencement of the regular season, at which time the base salary becomes as a practical matter guaranteed).  Thus, the Bengals can wait to decide whether to keep him, to cut him, to trade him, or to tell him after training camp and the preseason that if he doesn’t agree to take a pay cut he’s going to be released.

That said, the Bengals didn’t acquire Ochocinco’s rights via the recent exercise of an “option”.  His contract contained a $3.5 million option bonus in the early years, the exercise of which would have extended his stay through 2011.  But that’s just a device for funneling money to a player in the honeymoon phase of a long-term deal.  The Bengals haven’t — and surely wouldn’t — pay $3.5 million now for the right to possibly pay him $6 million in base salary when the season arrives.

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8 Responses to “Ochocinco’s contract has no “option” for 2011”
  1. skoobyfl says: Jan 7, 2011 8:44 AM

    He can bag for Wegmans during the long offseason, that’s if he changes his name to something near normal. Cincy played better without Batman / Robin competing for power at the cave.

  2. cwitty63 says: Jan 7, 2011 9:23 AM

    He needs to jump in the batmobile with T.O. and disapear into the night.

  3. spungy says: Jan 7, 2011 9:30 AM

    If he goes I just have to wash my Maualuga jersey twice as often.

  4. rayallen20 says: Jan 7, 2011 9:36 AM

    Ochocinco is playing for Belichick within 8 months…

  5. nygdefenserules says: Jan 7, 2011 9:37 AM

    Didn’t he want out in the worst way 2 seasons ago….and they were better that season then they were this past season.

    Can’t imagine he wants to stay.

    Cue Chad to Dallas or Jets talk in 3…..2…..1…..

  6. punish22 says: Jan 7, 2011 10:43 AM

    OchoSTINKO! You’re a BUM! Shut your fat lips and retire cause you SUCK! Shoola knows all!

  7. jthompson37 says: Jan 7, 2011 12:14 PM

    well the Bengals need to go younger anyway……they more than likely they will take AJ Green or Julio Jones in the Draft so Ocho mite need to start clearing his locker

  8. goldsteel says: Jan 7, 2011 9:49 PM

    I think the honeymoon between Ocho and the Bengals faithful has long passed. Ocho does more complaining than playing as of late. Yelling at Carson Palmer on the field. Carson should have yelled back on occasion. He doesn’t have to take that stuff.

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