Chad Ochocinco recorded career lows in receptions (15), yards (276) and touchdowns (one). He never made more than two catches in a game and was eventually fazed out of the offense.
Now that the New England Patriots have released him however the division rival Miami Dolphins should take a crack at signing him.
Ochocinco’s lack of production in New England wasn’t a result of a lack of talent. It’s been popularly opined that he just never understood the complexities of the Patriot playbook. It became obvious that Tom Brady and Ochocinco never developed that strong a chemistry and this offseason Jabar Gaffney became available, one of Brady’s all-time favorite targets. Ochocinco became expendable.
What is New England’s loss would be Miami’s gain.
After trading away Brandon Marshall prior to the draft, with the belief that off the field issues influenced Miami into dealing its leading receiver, the Dolphins were left with a huge hole at the wide receiver position.
Davonne Bess is a nice slot receiver that’s made some big catches for the team over the past few years. Brian Hartline is a guy the team drafted that the previous coaching staff thought very highly of. Neither is a bonifide No. 1 wide receiver and it just gets worse from there.
The Dolphins currently have 12 receivers on the team roster. Four are rookies and none of those players were selected higher than the sixth round. Only three players have even more than seven career receptions.
Ochocinco would add veteran leadership to the group. Not only that but he would help out the Dolphins quarterback situation and make any of the three players the team may start look better.
While he’s been criticized over his career for having character issues, really it has not been the same thing as Terrell Owens or Randy Moss.
Yes, once he did publicly ask to be traded from Cincinnati but he apologized for it and worked with head coach Marvin Lewis and quarterback Carson Palmer through their issues. His “diva” attitude comes more from his fun-loving side: his love for Twitter and his endzone celebrations. He demands a lot of attention but he isn’t a clubhouse cancer.
After being contained last season by the Patriots staff, both on the field and off it, it isn’t crazy to expect him to be itching to get out on the field and do his thing. A motivated Ochocinco could put up some impressive numbers.
It’s his fun-loving attitude that will also endear him to fans and that would be a huge bonus for a team going through some bad publicity these days.
Ochocinco is a fan favorite and those in Miami will be very familiar with him because that is where his off-season home is. He’d sell a lot of jerseys and bring back some interest to a franchise that has really underwhelmed since Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season.
Don’t forget how Ochocinco really blew up in popularity: HBO’s Hard Knocks. The TV series focused on the Bengals in 2009 and he was one of the central characters.
The Miami Dolphins will be the featured team this season and Ochocinco would make for prime television once more.
It’s a strong match and a move the Dolphins should seriously consider.
Ochocinco would plug a huge hole on the roster and bring some joy to a team in distress. All that’s left is to “kiss the baby”.
AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez