With the Cincinnati Bengals drafting super-athletic and highly-touted wide receiver A.J. Green out of Georgia, Chad Ochocinco will most likely be looking for a new team when the lockout eventually ends.
Ochocinco will either be released through waivers or traded by the Bengals, but his final destination is still far from determined and unknown. Nevertheless, Ochocinco will not be a Bengal next year.
According to Pro Football Talk, Teammate Cedric Benson, running back for the Bengals, stated in an interview that “For this team to be a winner, management needs to make changes.” Although Benson was not specific about naming Ochocinco in his statement, that is the Bengals most prolific question entering next season.
So what are some possible destinations for Ochocinco? Are there any teams out there that would be willing to trade for the former Pro Bowl talent?
Here's a few main destinations that have been mentioned in the media lately.
Many people thought the Atlanta Falcons would make a run at Ochocinco if he was released by the Bengals. However, sources in the Falcons organization stated they are not going to risk chemistry within the locker room by bringing in the aging receiver.
Another potential home for Chad is with the Oakland Raiders. Oakland is a very common destination for aging/former superstars, and they will gladly offer Ochocinco an attractive contract. Will it be enough for Chad to take his talents to the "black hole" of NFL careers?
Other than them, the Chicago Bears have thrown their hat in the ring to bag Chad. The Bears have clearly struggled at the receiver position, and Ochocinco would be a great partner for the struggling Jay Cutler. The Bears could bolster their receiving core with Chad and should definitely offer him a contract.
The most likely destination for Chad is with the New York Jets. The Jets are known for going after veteran castaways, and Ochocinco is no exception (See: Jason Taylor, Santonio Holmes, etc). If Brad Smith or Holmes leave through FA, Ochocinco will be the Jets best option for a replacement. Randy Moss was a failed experiment in Tennessee, and clearly wants to return to the New England Patriots. The Jets would be a win-win situation for both sides, as Rex Ryan and his crew can contain Ochocinco's attitude/off-the-field antics as well as put him in a system where he could thrive.
My money is on the Jets to sign Ochocinco. His trade value is virtually nothing, so look for a team like the Jets to snap him up off waivers if they have the chance.