We could sit here and go on and on about why Chad Ocho Cinco didn’t work in New England. Some will cite work ethic, some will cite failure to learn the playbook, my personal belief is that while the above two are true, it’s also true that he didn’t fit in that system. Patriots run a lot of heavy sets, but air the ball out, and with Gronk’s emergence last season and the ever-so productive Wes Welker still…well….producing, there was little to no room for Chad Ocho Cinco left.
So as the Patriots do, rather than carrying around extra weight, they let him go, and now he’s a free agent who’s waiting on some teams to give him a call.
Initial reports from Adam Schefter were that Ocho Cinco was being pursued by 5 different teams, one of those teams (The Cowboys) have since pulled out of the race, citing they were not interested in 85 or Terrell Owens to fill the #3 WR role.
We know Chad isn’t what he used to be during his heyday in Cincinnati, but he can still provide for any team looking for a #2 or #3 receiver. Let’s take a look at each situation and see where and how he would fit.
Buffalo Bills – Decent Fit, provides depth. The Buffalo Bills are in need of a major threat opposite Stevie Johnson. David Nelson and Fred Jackson were the next two leading WRs after Johnson, and while Nelson can contribute, they don’t have much depth beyond him. Bringing in Ocho Cinco gives depth and balance, you have an aged veteran who can still catch a deep ball, but you also have another WR for DBs to worry about besides Stevie Johnson.
Baltimore Ravens – Another decent fit, again, depth. The Ravens already have found their compliment to AnQuan Boldin in Torrey Smith, and while they’re still waiting for him to gain a little consistency, they still believe in him. Ocho Cinco would really only provide a body here, there’s nothing he can do that Boldin and Smith can’t get done. Lee Evans didn’t do much during the regular season, but he should still provide those short passes over the middle and will be given the chance to make something happen. Ocho would probably fit here as a 3 in Evans’s place, but he could probably work as a 4.
Miami Dolphins – Good fit. Poor team. Despite becoming the automatic go-to guy in Miami (Davone Bess and Brian Hartline are your only other options), Chad gets stuck here with a poor team who has no idea what their identity is or who their QB will be.
Houston Texans – Perfect fit. Best team. If Houston gives Chad a call and gives him a contract offer, he better take it. The Texans have one of the best WRs in the league in Andre Johnson, but Jacoby Jones fell apart last season and has been dismissed, leaving Kevin Walter and Bryant Johnson battling for the #2 along with rookie Deveir Posey. Ocho Cinco may be up in age, but he still can call for attention, and if Andre’s double covered, he’s one on one, and if he produces, that can free up Andre. It’s a win-win for both sides and it is the move that needs to happen.