Chad Ochocinco wants to stay in New England badly enough that he’s willing to take less money to do it.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Ochocinco restructured his contract for the 2012 season, lowering his base salary from $3 million to $1 million.
As we noted yesterday, Ochocinco’s future in New England had been a topic of conversation because the Patriots had made so many moves to shore up the receiver position previously this offseason. New England signed free agent receivers Brandon Lloyd, Anthony Gonzalez and Donte Stallworth, re-signed one of their own free agent receivers, Deion Branch, and franchised another, Wes Welker. Add all those moves up and Ochocinco’s chances of remaining in New England didn’t look great.
But now that Ochocinco has reduced his base salary to $1 million, it makes sense for the Patriots to keep him. At least, it does if they think a full year in the offense will have him prepared to produce more than he did in 2011, when his output consisted of a career-low 15 catches for 276 yards.