Chad Ochocinco Absent From Patriots OTAs. Would it Surprise Anybody if He’s Released Soon?

Boston Globe’s Greg A. Bedard reports that Patriots receiver Chad Ochocinco was not present at the team’s OTAs today. No reason was given. While he hasn’t been cut yet, it’s a matter of when and not if it will happen.

Photo Credit: Fan Pop

Last season, Ochocinco had just 15 catches for 276 yards and 1 touchdown. While I’m not saying that I would match that production in the dynamic Patriots offense, I don’t think I’d fare that much worse. He ranked 219th in the league in receptions, with less catches San Francisco running back Kendall Hunter, Dolphins fullback Charles Clay, and Raiders tight end Brandon Myers amongst lots of other players you’ve never heard of.

In addition to returning receivers Wes Welker and Deion Branch the Patriots have signed Brandon Lloyd, Donte’ Stallworth, and Jabar Gaffney this offseason. So, there’s just no chance Ochocinco makes the Patriots opening day roster and it would make sense for the Patriots to cut bait sooner than later.

Say this for Ochocinco, though: his failure to succeed in the Patriots offense was not for lack of effort or focus. He had a good attitude throughout the season, never complained publicly that he wasn’t getting the ball when everybody else on his team was, and kept his head up. He just turned 34; very few NFL players make it to that age with their bodies and skills intact. His time has come.

Ochinco’s career has been fun and memorable. While he’s probably done with football, I’d bet we haven’t seen the last of him. In a league where so many players and coaches are homogenous off the field and speak safely in platitudes to avoid stirring up controversy, Ochocinco was individualistic and reminded us that football is, after all, a game. (Please never repeat those words to me after a Packers loss.) Whether or not you approved of his antics, at least you were never bored by him.

Net in net, touchdown celebrations, the name change from Chad Johnson, Dancing With the Stars, the reality show, and prolific Twitter account were endearing. Where many athletes set up walls around themselves in public, Ochocinco embraced his celebrity. There was a period where it seemed like once a week he was treating his Twitter followers to free meals or movies.

Unlike his former TV partner and teammate Terrell Owens, who was and is a delusional malcontent, Ochocinco seemed aware of how he was perceived and chose to be himself anyway. That we’re even talking about a receiver who will probably be cut after having 15 catches last year is proof that his gambles paid off.

Update: Adam Schefter reports on Twitter that Chad Ochocinco has been released.

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2 Responses to Chad Ochocinco Absent From Patriots OTAs. Would it Surprise Anybody if He’s Released Soon?

  1. mweisburgh says:

    Ryan, for you to even have a chance at meeting those statistics, as low as they are, you’d have to stop eating all that junk food, and get up and exercise. But, at least you’re not boring, either.

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