The only thing keeping Chad Ochocinco from joining Terrell Owens on the NFL’s literal Mr. Irrelevant list is the fact that Ochocinco still has a job with an NFL team. Despite rampant rumors to the contrary, that has not changed.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Ochocinco remains a member of the Patriots as of this posting, despite eye-opening speculation from employees of the team’s official website that he was cut.
The team’s official website reports he wasn’t present for Thursday’s practice. And the Twitter feed for Patriots.com openly asks whether Chad will still be a member of the team at the end of the day.
We don’t know the answer to that question. But we do know that, as of right now, he hasn’t been cut.
Earlier in the offseason, Ochocinco agreed to drop his base salary from $3 million to $1 million in 2012. Agent Drew Rosenhaus later said that Chad has unfinished business in New England, which prompted us to point out that some would say Chad’s business was still unstarted.
Though it may never get started, it hasn’t ended.
UPDATE 3:10 p.m. ET: A prior version of this article incorrectly stated that there were “multiple accounts” that Ochocinco has been cut. That was a poor choice of words, and I apologize for it. Our report regarding Chad’s status was sparked by one thing: A surprising degree of speculation from employees of the Patriots’ official website — and thus employees of the Patriots’ organization — regarding whether Ochocinco’s absence from practice on Thursday means he is also absent from the roster. Other reporters not employed by the Patriots engaged in similar speculation, which was apparently fueled by the fact that Ochocinco removed from his Twitter page the designation that he plays for the Patriots. He has since restored it.