Chad Ochocinco, formerly known as Chad Johnson seems to be done with the New England Patriots, or rather the Patriots are done with him. After a season in which he caught only 15 passes for 276 yards and only 1 touchdown, the Patriots are giving Ochocinco his release.
Ochocinco has made quite the name for himself both on and off the football field. He has amassed over 11,000 yards receiving in his 11 year career and should still have some football left in him. Off the field, Ochocinco, 34, has drawn a lot of attention through his Twitter account, his name change, and with random acts of kindness for fans which included buying several hundred people dinner in Harlem just a couple of months ago. He can be a bit of a distraction but not an altogether negative one.
The New York Jets need some help at wide receiver. Santonio Holmes is the obvious number one receiver but after him there is nothing more than young receivers. Jeremy Kerley looks to be set at the slot position and rookies Stephen Hill and Jordan White could also contribute. Chaz Schilens is the only other receiver with a veteran presence and some experience under his belt.
The New York Jets would be wise to take a flyer on Chad Ochocinco to help ease the transition for Stephen Hill into the offense. Right now Hill stands to be a starter opposite Holmes with Kerley in the slot. Ideally, the Jets would probably like to add one more veteran to push the youngsters and take some pressure off of them as they learn the offense. Hill has tons of potential but he is still a very raw receiver who might need time to develop those skills. Making him the fourth wide receiver might be beneficial to the Jets and Hill in the long run.
Ochocinco never seemed to fit in with New England last season. His role on the offense was greatly diminished and he seemed lost on the field at times. Perhaps that is due more to trying to learn a new offense with virtually no offseason to learn it in. Perhaps it is due to something else. Either way, Ochocinco could provide a veteran presence while at the same time relieving some pressure on Hill.
It wasn’t that long ago that Chad Ochocinco was considered an elite wide receiver with the Cincinnati Bengals. In 2010, he caught 67 passes for 831 yards and 4 TD’s. In his first 7 years in the NFL, Ochocinco eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark 6 times with the only year he didn’t accomplish that feat being his rookie year. He also led the NFL in receiving yards in 2006. There is still some football left in Ochocinco who is only 34 years old. He might not be the same player he was four or five years ago but he is still a threat on the field and the Jets certainly need a little help at receiver. For me, the reward outweighs the risk. The Jets should pull the trigger and get Ochocinco into camp. He is certainly better than Derrick Mason but that didn’t stop the Jets from bringing Mason in last season. GM Mike Tannenbaum should be on the phone right now.