New England’s signing of Brandon Lloyd fills the role in the Patriots’ passing game that the team hoped Chad Ochocinco would fill when they traded for him last year. So where does that leave Ochocinco going forward?
In fact, there’s a good chance the Patriots would have decided to move on from Ochocinco even if they hadn’t signed Lloyd. When you’re a 34-year-old wide receiver coming off a season in which you had career lows in catches (15) and yards (276) and you don’t contribute on special teams, your job is never safe. And that’s what Ochocinco is right now.
Before they signed Lloyd the Patriots indicated they would like Ochocinco to restructure his contract, and Ochocinco hinted in a Twitter message that he’s open to reducing his $3 million base salary and taking an incentive-laden contract instead. But even if he’s willing to play for the league minimum salary it’s hard to see what Ochocinco’s place in the receiving corps would be. He barely had a place in the offense last year, before the addition of Lloyd.
So Ochocinco may find that the Patriots don’t want him at any price. If he’s released, he’ll be free to find out what the market is for a 34-year-old receiver who caught 15 passes last season.