The long-simmering flirtation between Bill Belichick and Chad Ochocinco has finally been consummated.
Local 12 CBS in Cincinnati first reported that Ochocinco was traded to the Patriots. Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer confirmed the news and added that Ochocinco has renegotiated his contract to a three-year deal.
The Patriots needed more speed outside, but there are serious questions whether Ochocinco still has that speed. He gives them another player, not unlike Deion Branch, who relies more on craftiness and route running than gamebreaking ability at this stage in his career.
“God is so Good,” Ochocinco wrote on Twitter.
The move makes sense in isolation. Since it comes on the same day as the reported Albert Haynesworth acquisition, it will raise questions in New England about whether Bill Belichick’s Patriots are becoming the new Isle of Misfit Toys.
Here’s how we think the Patriots would answer that criticism: They are just looking for value. Haynesworth and Ochocinco are talented players coming at discounts, grateful for the chance to resurrect their careers. They trust their locker room leadership and system enough to handle any off-field concerns.
If the new guys act up, they will be promptly dropped and the system moves on. We don’t know if the plan will work, but that’s likely how the Patriots view things.
And to think Patriots fans complained just Wednesday how “boring” this free agent period was shaping up to be.