Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer found out that the Bengals exercised Chad Ochocinco's $6 million option for 2011 "a long time ago."
Recently, Ochocinco implied that he does not want to be back. When he was asked if he could coexist with Marvin Lewis, Ochocinco said this:
“I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t know. To say some of the things that have been said in the past, for some reason, when I was especially down. When you look for support, it’s always got to come from the one higher up. For the one higher up to say the things he said, it’s really hurt. I don’t see myself really feeling [that].”
You can read the whole article here.
However, Ochocinco talks a lot. Here is what Ochocinco recently tweeted on the subject of his return:
"Truth: if I could play for any NFL team can you figure out who, I'll honestly answer at 9 b4 I go to bed *no offense to anyone*"
"How can i not say the Bengals,it's all I know and was the only team that took a chance on me,picture me without stripes=zebra with none"
Here are five reasons that the Bengals did pick up the option on Ochocinco.
Chad Ochocinco is under contract for 2011. He couldn’t make the decision to leave or stay.
The Bengals exercised a club option to have Chad Ochocinco back for $6 million. If they chose not to exercise their 2011 option, Ochocinco would have received $3.5 million.
Since keeping Ochocinco cost the Bengals only $2.5 million more than cutting him, the decision was easy. A veteran receiver with Ochocinco's skills will command much more than that. Last year, they gave Antonio Bryant $7 million to sign and he isn't the borderline Hall of Famer that Ochocinco is.
Ochocinco is still a good receiver.
In 2010, he was 20th in the league in catches. There were 14 teams that did not have a receiver with more catches than Ochocinco pulled in.
He was 28th in the league in yards.. There were 10 teams that did not have a reciever with more yards than Ochocinco racked up.
Way back in 2009, Ochocinco made the Pro Bowl (even if it was because of injuries). He is in decline, though. Now 33 years old, he has trouble beating double coverages. He also dropped eight balls in 2010.
In many ways, Chad Ochocinco helps keep the Bengals in the national spotlight.
He brings a lot of exposure to the Bengals with the fines that he gets, his reality shows and constant presence on Twitter.
That exposure sells tickets, jerseys and helps put the Bengals in games on national TV. All of this means that Ochocinco makes money for the Bengals.
Mike Brown needs to win games to sell tickets but Ochocinco helps sell more.
The Bengals have three promising young receivers in Jerome Simpson, Andre Caldwell and Jordan Shipley. They may even select A.J. Green in the draft. These guys could be ready to take over. Ochocinco can serve as the insurance if they don't.
The three have talent to spare but they still need a reliable veteran receiver to go with them. They tried signing a receiver like this for the past two years. They picked up Laveranues Coles in 2009. In 2010, they signed Antonio Bryant and Terrell Owens.
Many Bengal fans think the Bengals should sign such a receiver again but they already have him in Ochocinco.
As mentioned, Chad Ochiconco's 2011 salary of $6 million is a bargain. There are lesser receivers making more.
If the Bengals were satisfied with their core of receivers when training camp rolls around, other teams would be interested in acquiring him. Ochocinco could bring in a fourth-round pick or maybe even a third-round pick if the right team needs help at that position.
It would be unwise to part ways with Ochocinco.