Minnesota Vikings: Should the Team Give Chad Ochocinco a Look?
One of the biggest disappointments in the NFL was the play of Chad Ochocinco. When the disgruntled wide receiver joined forces with arguably the best quarterback in the league, Tom Brady, a lot of us saw dreams of Brady-to-Randy Moss from 2007 when thinking about the combination's potential.
The result was a complete nightmare that saw Ochocinco catch just 15 balls for 276 yards with the Patriots. The end result was the Patriots not getting what they signed up for from the then-33-year-old receiver.
A potential destination could be the Minnesota Vikings as was pointed out on ProFootballTalk.com after Ochocinco's release.
The addition of Ochocinco would be tempting for a team that wants to put weapons around developing second-year quarterback Christian Ponder, but is the risk worth the reward?
To clarify, I don't believe the risk is that Ochocinco will tear the locker room to shreds. Ochocinco is not Terrell Owens in terms of him being a malicious backstabber that will do anything to benefit himself, such as suing a Indoor Football League team.
While Ochocinco can be considered as egotistical, his actions are much more playful in the forms of over-the-top touchdown celebrations and connecting with fans via Twitter. He also has the will to win, which would help any team wanting to pick him up if he has his head screwed on straight.
That brings us back to the Vikings situation. The Vikings have spent the offseason trying to add young playmakers to help Ponder. After the additions of tight end John Carlson, wide receiver Jerome Simpson and draft picks Julian Wright and Greg Childs, the Vikings would seem to be set.
That doesn't mean that Ochocinco wouldn't provide an upgrade. In what could be a symptom of small sample size, Ochocinco had a yards per catch of 18.4 last season which was a career-high.
Ochocinco also found himself on the bench frequently as he had trouble learning the Patriots offense after a shortened offseason because of the NFL lockout (via ProFootballTalk.com). While he would have the same situation with the Patriots releasing him so late in the process, he could also still help a team.
The problem with the Vikings is that they've already been through this experiment before with the quarterback position.
After the shortened offseason, the Vikings didn't want to throw Ponder into the fire. They decided to let Ponder learn and traded for Donovan McNabb, who became one of the biggest busts in Viking history.
Adding Ochocinco could have the same result as it would hold some of the younger players (such as Childs and Wright) back and would stunt any potential growth that Ponder could have as well.
The Vikings are also in rebuilding mode and there's no guarantee that Ochocinco would want to come here either.
The lack of a Super Bowl contender may do enough to keep Ochocinco away, but the Vikings shouldn't take a chance on the receiver as they need to let some of the guys from general manager Rick Spielman's first draft class as "the guy in the front office" show their worth.
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