I never thought I would refer to a Chad Ochocinco story as being somewhat in the background, but alas conversation about the trade status of Chad Ochocinco has been largely overshadowed by the similar situation that surrounds Bengals QB Carson Palmer this offseason. So how does Chad put the focus back on himself? He did what only Ocho could do and rode a bull.
So now that the focus is back on Ochocinco, one has to look at who could be in the market for the WR and more importantly, what is his market value?
Following the acquisition of Georgia WR A.J. Green, many have suggested that Chad Ochocinco will be cut lose by the Cincinnati Bengals, however Coach Lewis has stated that he will not entertain the question of a trade in a public forum, saying on the subject, "Chad's a member of this team. He's got a contract. That's the way it goes. We're not in a position to do anything else. That's where it stands."
For now we can only continue to speculate on Ochocinco's fate, but it is generally agreed upon that Cincinnati parting ways with its franchise record setting WR and biggest headache before the 2011 season will not be a surprise.
So what is the market value for Ochocinco?
Let's go back to the 22nd of April 2008, Ochocinco was desperate to get out of Cincinnati after an 8-8 season and a belief that he had been accused of being the reason for the team's failure. The date I mentioned is significant because it's the day that Cincinnati turned down a trade with the Washington Redskins for the WR that included a first- round 2008 draft selection and a 2009 draft selection. Redskins owner Dan Snyder had been said to be particularly "enamored" with Ochocinco, and similarly when asked about the trade rumors Ocho had said "Call me, Dan."
Where will Chad suit up in 2011?
So does this relationship mean anything today? Well Chad is coming off of a very pedestrian year that ranks as one of his worst. That coupled with his age, and you might see that Ocho is going to struggle to get the type of guaranteed money he would receive in Cincinnati ($6 million).
There are teams out there who may take a punt on the Ocho, including:
Chicago: Chicago need some fire power in terms of WR, and with the limited amount of talent on the free-agent market, Ochocinco could potentially be the answer. The Bears are most definitely in a "win now" mode coming into 2011 and Ochocinco is a veteran who can slot in and make an impact immediately, provided he isn't distracted...
Oakland: With Darrius Heyward-Bey yet to make an impact in Oakland and Jacoby Ford their biggest receiving playmaker, Ochocinco could provide an added threat and a great pair of hands for Campbell to throw to. Let's not forget Ocho's favorite coach Hue Jackson runs the show in Oakland now, making it very feasible.
Washington: They went for the Ocho in the past, whose to say they aren't still interested? If Santana Moss parts ways with the Redskins, Ochocinco could be the man to step into his shoes.
I left out teams like New England, because with the high price tag Drew Rosenhaus is likely to slap on Ochocinco's services, Bill Belichick won't look twice at the aging receiver. Players like T.O. and Randy Moss continue to struggle to find homes, and Ochocinco does little to separate himself from them in terms of character and on the field production, making the high maintenance WR less valuable than he might think.
So what can Cincinnati hope to get out of Ochocinco if a trade comes to fruition? Well let's just say The Ocho isn't likely to net the Bengals a first-round pick anymore, with a package possibly cobbling together a second-round pick and perhaps something in the late rounds. Of course I could be wrong, but teams will be weary of promising too much considering The Ocho's recent ineptitude and off the field distractions.
If The Ocho is wise, he should consider toning down his Twitter remarks, because when free-agency rolls around he might find that the only place where big money is on the table is the place he is so desperate to get out of...