The Cincinnati Bengals are expected to part ways with Ochocinco once the league lifts the transaction freeze and teams are again allowed to make cuts as well as additions.
The ever controversial receiver has been linked to New England for quite some time now, and Schefter cites the relationship between Ochocinco and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick as a reason why he feels the match could work.
The two have certainly had plenty of kind words to share about one another since 2007. They spent significant time together that year on the AFC Pro Bowl squad, which Belichick and his assistants coached.
"I like Chad," Belichick said. "I like him as a player. I like him as a person. I like his enthusiasm and the fun he has with football, and I like how he competes on the football field. I have a lot of respect for that. [We’re] an odd couple, but in the end, I think we have a lot of things in common."
Chad shared the positive sentiment.
Should the Patriots pursue Chad Ochocinco?
"He became a friend of mine," Ochocinco said. "He has respect for me and my game. I have respect for him and everything he has done as a coach. We've just always been close and fond of each other's work. He's one that I look up to tremendously, one that I've never played for but I show the same respect as if he was my own head coach."
It's easy to see why so many have predicted that the Patriots will pursue Ochocinco, if and when he becomes available. Schefter even goes as far to suggest the Patriots' past success with ex-Bengal Corey Dillon is another reason this match may work.
I believe a dose of reality is needed concerning Ochocinco's appearance in New England because this situation remains highly unlikely.
Deion Branch and Wes Welker are both north of 30 and Ochocinco's presence would only compound the age issue at a position where youth is almost always preferred.
The Patriots have a number of young wideout prospects on the roster as well, and if they plan to give Taylor Price, Julian Edelman and Brandon Tate a crack at increased roles, one would have to think the addition of Ochocinco would only hinder those opportunities.
New England also elected to pass on a wide receiver in last month's draft, much to the chagrin of many fans and analysts. The decision could mean one of two things: Either Belichick is content with the current personnel at the position and believes in what he has, or the team plans to make an acquisition of some sort.
Ochocinco is pulling for the latter, but even if the Patriots wish to bring in another wide receiver, is a 33-year-old with a history of diva-like antics and foot-in-mouth moments really the answer?
I'd venture to guess that the Kraft family and Belichick have learned their lesson when it comes to receivers with attitude. There will be many free agents and trade targets available at wide receiver if New England decides it has a need there, and I'd fully expect those options to receive a much harder look than Ochocinco.
In the end, Chad Ochocinco is a lot of things.
He's diva, a dancer, a place kicker, a semi-professional soccer player and an electronic bull rider, among so many other things. He's also a 24-hour publicity stunt on wheels near the end of his playing career. Don't expect the Patriots to grace his list, unless of course he still wants to be a minuteman.
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