After the New England Patriots released former Pro-Bowl wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, after failing to find a trade partner – an all-too common move, but unusual for a player of such caliber.
Coming into last season, his first in New England, Ochocinco boasted career marks of 751 catches, 10,783 yards, and 66 touchdowns. With those numbers, the thought was that Ochocinco would excel playing with future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Tom Brady.
The result? A mere 15 catches for 276 yards and just one touchdown.
Regardless of the poor production, Ochocinco provides a body of work that will surely have teams interested. A native of South Florida, he has already apparently landed a tryout with the Miami Dolphins, according to CBSSports.com.
The Dolphins are in need of a receiver, having failed to sign a replacement for Brandon Marshall, who was traded to the Chicago Bears for two third round picks, in 2012 and 2013. They head the list of potential landing spots for Ochocinco, but here’s our top four potential teams that could most benefit from the six time Pro Bowl player.
Wide Receivers: Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, Clyde Gates, Roberto Wallace, Marlon Moore, Legedu Naanee, B.J. Cunningham (R), Rishard Matthews (R)
The most experienced receiver on this team is Naanee, who just signed with the team this offseason. The most tenured with the team is Bess, who was second on the team in receptions behind the departed-Brandon Marshall. Because the Dolphins traded their top target to Chicago, that leaves plenty of room for veteran experience and with his numbers, who better then Ocho?
He played high school football at Miami Beach High School and has a home in the area. Not to mention, Miami did just sign on for HBO’s “Hard Knocks”.
Wide Receivers: Stevie Johnson, Donald Jones, David Nelson, Brad Smith, Naaman Roosevelt, Ruvell Martin, Marcus Easley, Derek Hagan, David Clowney, T.J. Graham (R)
It didn’t take long for Ochocinco to get attention from potential suitors after his release. Stevie Johnson took to Twitter, posting, “OG @Ochocinco tell ya agent to set that up with The #BillsMafia. Ya Field Swag was Contained a Whole Season. Come TurnUp wit us in BuffCity.”
The assistance would help as Stevie Johnson became the first Bills receiver to ever put up back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons – an astonishing fact given the 52-year history of the franchise.
Another fun fact, Johnson and Nelson led the team in receptions with 76 and 61 receptions, respectively. The third most receptions were caught by running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, each with 39. The next wide receiver on the list? Donald Jones and Brad Smith with 23 each; that’s a big drop off — the same amount of receptions as tight end Scott Chandler.
Wide Receivers: Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Kevin Ogletree, Dwayne Harris, Danny Coale (R)
Everything’s bigger in Texas, and owner/general manager Jerry Jones, loves bringing in the big names. Especially at wide receiver. In the past decade Jerry Jones has brought in star veterans Terrell Owens, Roy Williams, Keyshawn Martin, Terry Glenn, Joey Galloway, Antonio Bryant. All of whom had similar hot-and-cold success.
With such a thin receiving corps it makes sense for Ochocinco, who could not only bring his big play abilities but could also bring some veteran savvy to a youthful group of receivers.
Wide Receivers: Mike Thomas, Laurent Robinson, Brian Robiskie, Taylor Price, Cecil Shorts, Justin Blackmon (R)
Right now the Jaguars are a bit in a rut with their wide receiving corps. Rookie Justin Blackmon was supposed to save the passing game and help bring the Jags in a new direction. He started out with off the field problems (a DUI at a traffic stop). This is definitely not how the Jaguars envisioned their offseason going. And with Blackmon’s second court date scheduled just three days before the start of training camp, they need some insurance and stability in their receiving corps; especially if Blackmon is suspended by commissioner Roger Goodell.
Insert Ochocinco. He could instantly upgrade the position while also offering stability for offensive coordinator, who just so happened to be Ochocinco’s coordinator in Cincinnati when he had his most prolific years.
By Nathan Rickard