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Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Ochocinco's right: Time's likely up in Cincy

By James Walker

What do Chad Ochocinco and Carson Palmer have in common?

Both believe they will not play for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011 -- and they're probably correct.

Ochocinco
Ochocinco
Palmer
Palmer
Ochocinco took the Bengals and head coach Marvin Lewis to task via Twitter on Tuesday, saying that "my time is up," while expounding on his strained relationship with Lewis.

"I love Cincy, but coach Lewis is mean to me now so I think I am gone," Ochocinco tweeted.

"He has gone over board to publicly [chastise] the one guy who loves him[.] I'm so hurt," Ochocinco wrote in another tweet.

I have covered Ochocinco most of his NFL career, and sometimes I find it difficult to tell when he's being playful or serious. But Ochocinco can get emotional, and this latest rant seems real.

Ochocinco is 33 and coming off a disappointing season (67 passes for 831 yards and four touchdowns). He's not the No. 1 receiver that he once was, and in the Bengals' eyes, his antics and unpredictability no longer match the production.

The Bengals are looking for Ochocinco's eventual replacement and may find it with the No. 4 overall pick in Georgia receiver A.J. Green. Cincinnati wants to go younger at receiver and already has Jordan Shipley, Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson on the roster.

We've said for months in the AFC North blog that it was time to blow up the Bengals. It's obvious the Lewis-Palmer-Ochocinco regime has run its course in Cincinnati, which was 4-12 last season.

In eight years together, this trio brought some much-needed excitement but never lived up to its potential. With Palmer and Ochocinco both over 30, past their primes and disgruntled, it's time to pull the plug on this experiment and move on.

As Ochocinco tweeted Tuesday, "time is up." The Bengals should rebuild with a new foundation, starting with this week's NFL draft.