Patriots release WR Ochocinco
FOXBOROUGH, MASS. (AP)
The New England Patriots released receiver Chad Ochocinco on Thursday,
cutting loose the six-time Pro Bowl selection after one season in which
he was more active on Twitter than on the field.
"Thoroughly enjoyed the oppurtunity to play for the 'Patriot'
organization... fans were ... wicked awesome, I wish all of you the
best," he tweeted at about the same time the team was announcing he had
"I'm healthy n living life, I'll be fine," he wrote on Twitter, where
he had changed his job description to ''UNEMPLOYED BLACK GUY'' and
posed a photo of himself sitting on a suitcase at the airport,
Ochocinco, 34, played in 15 games in his only season with the Patriots,
starting three and catching 15 passes for 276 yards. He caught one pass
in the Super Bowl as New England lost 21-17 to the New York Giants.
His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said he is ''in the process of gauging
interest from potential teams.''
During the playoffs, Patriots coach Bill Belichick described Ochocinco
as a hard worker who ''made a very good effort to do everything we've
asked him to do on and off the field.''
Ochocinco said the shift from star receiver to barely contributing role
player was a struggle. But it paid off with his first trip to the Super
Bowl — as a player, not as a gadfly asking questions on media day to
those actually participating in the game.
"I'm happy, but the competitive side of me is (angry). Does that make
sense?" he said before the team left for Indianapolis. ''I handled
myself with the utmost professionalism. I busted my (butt), didn't
pout. That's what I do: 'Give me the rock!' But I didn't do what people
thought I would do. Even I thought I was going to do it."
Drafted in the second round by Cincinnati from Oregon State, Ochocinco
spent 10 seasons with the Bengals and reached the Pro Bowl five
straight years from 2003-07 and again in '09. He was the first player
in NFL history to lead the conference in receiving four consecutive
But Ochocinco — who changed his name from Chad Johnson as a nod to his
uniform number, 85 — was perhaps better known for his antics that
sometimes annoyed his teammates, coaches and even commissioner Roger
Goodell, whom he called ''Dad.'' He predicted victories, sent gifts to
opposing locker rooms and invited fans to help him think up new end
His touchdown celebrations — using a pylon as a golf club, performing
CPR on the football, doing a jig, donning a Hall of Fame jacket — led
to repeated fines and an NFL crackdown. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis grew
so frustrated that he once called him ''Ocho Psycho.''
Ochocinco also appeared as a contestant on ''Dancing With the Stars''
and hosted a cable dating show. Under the guise of the online Ochocinco
News Network, he attended the Super Bowl as a reporter for two years,
asking questions of the teams during media sessions and even grilling
Goodell last year on the prospects of avoiding a lockout.
Last month, he posted online an open letter to Goodell to support the
commissioner in the wake of Junior Seau's suicide, writing ''no one is
showing any support, I figured I would be the first.''
In his career, Ochocinco has caught 766 passes for 11,059 yards and 67
in the news
Patriots Say Goodbye To WR Ochocinco
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