Ochocinco’s future in New England remains unclear

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If you were trying to build a case for why the Patriots will release Chad Ochocinco, you’d appear to have all the evidence you need already. Before free agency began the team indicated it thinks he’s overpaid with a request that he restructure his contract. Once free agency started the Patriots did everything in their power to get as many other wide receivers as they could by adding Brandon Lloyd, Anthony Gonzalez and Donte Stallworth, re-signing Deion Branch and franchising Wes Welker. And, of course, there’s the little matter of Ochocinco being a 34-year-old coming off a season in which he had a career-low 15 catches for 276 yards.

And yet the Patriots haven’t released Ochocinco yet, and some reports suggest that he’ll remain in New England for the 2012 season.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Ochocinco will be back, saying that the Patriots think he’ll study the playbook this offseason and come to training camp much more ready to play in the Patriots’ offense than he was last year, when he was acquired at the start of training camp and never really got up to speed.

However, as Schefter also notes, the Patriots are always going to let the players compete in training camp and keep the best players. And if Ochocinco isn’t a lot better in training camp than he was last season, it’s hard to envision him being one of the best receivers on the roster.

So we don’t yet know whether Ochocinco has a spot on the Patriots’ roster for the 2012 season. But it’s at least looking like he has a spot on the Patriots’ roster for training camp. And considering how little he accomplished in a Patriots uniform in 2011, even getting a chance to make the team in 2012 is a positive step for Ochocinco.

30 responses to “Ochocinco’s future in New England remains unclear

  1. We’ll see it all played out on his new reality series with that chick from Basketball Wives. I wonder how happy that wedding will be when he doesn’t have a job and they both living off Antoine Walker’s child support payments.

    Well, hey it worked out for Hank Baskett…

  2. Keep this in mind: The Patriots usually keep about 5-6 WRs on the roster, and they currently have 9. Two of them are special team aces unlikely to lose their spots, and they have just signed two guys who are best in the slot. Branch really needs to be moved inside as a possession/slot receiver. That makes Welker expendable (especially with two TEs on the inside who can do the job he’s done). Watch for a draft-day trade involving Welker (especially if he signs the tender just before the draft), and the Patriots picking up a WR prospect with speed and hands. Unthinkable? As a Patriot’s fan I know two things: Welker has been a stud for us and will be great next season, and that the Patriots know when to cut ties with popular players to keep the roster and salary cap manageable.

  3. Pats do a lot of re-tooling on offense each year that would, on paper, tell you they’d be the next superbowl champ. however, their defense is still mediocre and they don’t have spygate to carry their defensive play calling.

    sounds like typical haters gonna hate, but reality is much more fun.

  4. Can’t catch the ball of he isn’t on the field, Hoodie. I don’t buy for a second he lost all his playmaking ability in one season. They should release him so he can go to Denver.

  5. After watching every game and seeing how Brady had no confidence in Chad, I can only conclude that Ocho Cinco should be renamed Nocho Brainzo.

  6. Bill’s keeping Ocho around because Ocho makes him laugh. That from a reliable locker room source.

  7. ottomanismydog says: Mar 24, 2012 1:25 PM

    Pats do a lot of re-tooling on offense each year that would, on paper, tell you they’d be the next superbowl champ. however, their defense is still mediocre and they don’t have spygate to carry their defensive play calling.

    sounds like typical haters gonna hate, but reality is much more fun.
    I agree, your post isn’t “haters gonna hate” it’s more “stupid is as stupid does”. Cameragate had 0 to do with their “defensive playcalling”, genius.

    I don’t think that many of us Pats fans thought Chad would be cut before camp, even before what Schefter said. He’ll get the chance to compete in camp and maybe through preseason. Not because BB likes him (though he does) but because Chad always worked hard, was a good teammate and tried to do his job. If you do that, BB shows more patience with you.

    Also, I like Chad, but I really think this marriage is a publicity stunt more than it is a real relationship. I hope I’m wrong & it’s true love, but I just don’t see it.

  8. keep him on your team if he learns playbook and wins a job in training camp, keep him. if he doesnt win a job cut him. its clear he cant learn a playbook in short order, so that takes away the threat of him being an effective player on some other afc team like the jets, ravens, or broncos who all would surely be interested in bringing him in based on their wr corps

  9. Whether he learns the playbook or not, I have zero interest in him returning to New England in 2012. I think it was pretty obvious last season that he just doesn’t have it anymore. Even when he was running the correct routes and where he was supposed to be, Brady wouldn’t throw it to him because he just couldn’t get seperation and break coverage. Drop this loser already and let’s move on with our new crop of weapons at Brady’s disposal.

  10. I think they keep Welker even at the franchise price. Slater and Edelman locks as well plus Lloyd as WR #1. Gronk, Hernandez, Fells are locks at TE. That leaves 6-7 guys battling for the 2-3 outside WR spot behind Lloyd. Think Branch likely gets 1. Ocho gets a look but will need to earn it. Dont see any WRs drafted unless round 4-6.

    Overall, huge upgrade with Lloyd, so 4 superior options and we are talking about who will be the 5th option for Brady.

  11. Correction – Forgot about Stalworth – might give him the nod at #5, with Branch, Ocho and other fighting for 6.

  12. A great day when the Pats signed him, a better day when they release him. Typical screw-up by BB and a franchise in disarray.

  13. I still don’t get the people who claim Welker is “expendable.” He’s a top 10, even top 5 WR in the league.

    If you think Anthony Gonzalez or Julian Edelman are on their way to averaging 100+ receptions and 7+ touchdowns a year, keep smoking the ganja.

  14. Just wanted to add that Welker had his best season ever in 2011. The guy is not slowing down and now is not the time to trade him. We’re trying to solve WR issues, not create them.

  15. .


    “franchise in disarray ”

    27-5 over the past two seasons …..2 first round and 2 second round draft picks….most vets returning …. picked up some solid veteran free agents ……good cap shape ……young defense was starting to gel towards season’s end.

    OMG …the wheels are coming off !


  16. Guys ease up on Bills kool-Aid.
    The Pats are just a glorified version of the 90’s Bills.
    You recently lost to the same team twice when all the marbles were on the line. Your combined record in those two loses were what, 31-3?
    Big Blue was 9-7 and not even certain to make the playoffs. In between those years, the Ravens rip you a new one, then you lost at home to Sanchez and the Yets. Face it, that’s embarrassing!

    Stop beating your chest while saying: if this and if that.
    Bottom line is lately the Pats show a pattern of choking. JUST LIKE THE 90’S BILLS.
    Yeah the Pats WERE great, but your glory days are well behind. Sorry if you don’t want to hear it.

  17. @Dyanco

    You can’t compare the Pats to the 90’s Bills. They won three Super Bowls and the Bills won 0. I’m a Bills fan but I have to tip my hat to the competition(grudgingly) and say they’ve been the better team for the 12 years.

  18. What, a full season wasn’t enough time for a seasoned veteran to understand the playbook?

    Maybe they ought to ship him to the Yets, where they already “dumbed down” the playbook for Sanchez ……

  19. Not even a Pats fan here but good lord people, They are the most sucessful team in football since BB took over. I love my Cowboys but the Pats are the biggest winners for some time. Bashing them with stupid non facts means about as much as saying Peyton Manning sucks in the playoffs when his teams never had a DF so it was his fault. COME ON MAN!!

  20. Just send ochocinco to chicago and pair him with brandon marshall and jay cutler…..That would be a deadly combination as long as revis is not covering ocho!!! Go Bears and Go Bills!!!!

  21. I’m a Pats fan and watch every game. I honestly think that Chad’s problem with the Pats is that he’s just not getting the mental aspect of the offense. This is not an aberration either. There have been other receivers that can’t pick up it up either. Brady will not throw it to you if has no confidence that you’re going to be were you’re supposed to be and when you’re supposed to be there.

    I also think that if Chad went to a team that used his old Cincy offense, he would be able to perform well. I don’t think Chad has “lost a step” at all. I think Chad lacks the mental capacity to pick up the Pats offense quickly. It sounds as if the Pats may recognize this a think it may be possible with the entire off season and an entire preseason that Chad’s rather slow-absorption-rate brain might actually be able to digest the information. We shall see. I think he’ll get another chance to compete for a spot. If he displays that he still doesn’t get it, he’ll be gone in the blink of an eye.

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