Saturday, June 2, 2012
Ochocinco's fate sealed with Patriots?
By James Walker
ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss joined NFL Live last week and listed New England Patriots' Chad Ochocinco as one of the high-profile receivers most likely not to make the cut. Keep in mind, New England stocked up heavily on receivers this offseason, and Reiss points out that only "five, maybe six" will make the 53-man roster.
Walker's take: I agree with Reiss' assessment. The odds certainly are against Ochocinco. New England reduced his salary this offseason and continued to add wide receivers. It's clear the Patriots are tired of waiting. One full year is more than enough to learn New England's system. Ochocinco also will get a full offseason in 2012, which is something he didn't have last season. There are no more excuses. If Ochocinco is not one of the top six receivers on the roster, it's time to cut ties. Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney are locks. I also think Matthew Slater is in, because he's a Pro Bowler on special teams. That leaves one or two spots for players like Ochocinco, Deion Branch, Donte Stallworth and Julian Edelman. It doesn't mean Ochocinco's NFL career is over. He just never was a great fit for New England's precision passing game. Perhaps Ochocinco could help another team more next season.