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BOSTON (CBS) – Hey psst, have you heard, the NFL Lockout’s about to end.
Yup, time for us to actually ponder, predict and pontificate, about what the New England Patriots will do. And while Logan Mankins and Matt Light consider their futures, there’s one player that could be available that the Patriots need to go get. Now there are some stumbling blocks…
He’s got a huge ego.
He is seemingly self-promoting 24/7.
Some critics think he’s more concerned with his own “persona” than winning football games.
But, with the bad, comes the undeniably good…
He’s a two-time All-Pro.
He’s a six-time Pro-Bowl selection.
And, he fills a big-time need for the Pats.
It’s time to go get Ochocinco…
It was just over seven years ago, when the Patriots reached out to a broken down, always losing organization, to nab a supremely talented skill player. The organization was the oft-beaten Cincinnati Bengals (Déjà vu) and the player was Corey Dillon. And even though people were concerned with Dillon’s questionable attitude and desire to win, that deal worked out pretty well, wouldn’t you say?
It’s the same bank, different asset.
There’s no doubt Chad Ochocinco has had his share of run-ins, even with his very own quarterback last year, in front of a nationally televised audience. There’s also no question that he celebrates TD’s probably a little too much for the “traditionalists.” And, his incessant tweeting might cause fans to question if he’d rather be in reality TV than in the NFL (Oh, don’t worry, he’s already done that!).
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But Ochocinco is exactly what this team needs. He’s a true number one option for Tom Brady. He can stretch the field. He’s not scared to go across the middle. He plays physically and effective in the red zone. And, he wants to win.
As many whine about the showmanship Ochocinco shows, he doesn’t get in trouble off the field. While skeptics question his desire to play the game right, he’s played 16 games in seven of his last nine seasons, playing hard for a losing team almost every step of the way. Some may get on his tweets and “out there” mentality, but you can’t overlook his seemingly good nature, including using twitter last year to take opposing fans out to dinner on the weekend of games.
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And, the best part of it all; there is no better time for the Patriots to act. Ochocinco is in the last year of his deal and will be looking to produce and cash in on what most likely will be his last significant contract. Ocho, if I could call him that, yearns to win and respects Bill Belichick, unlike his current coach Marvin Lewis. He’d have the opportunity to play for a winning organization, with the best quarterback he’s ever played with by far and for a coach he has no other choice but to respect.
It would most likely cost the Pats a third or fourth round pick, and at that price it’s more than worth it. Spend the asset and cash in.
And who knows… maybe it’ll be the second time Belichick went to Cincy and picked up a piece of the Super Bowl puzzle.
Follow Nick Cattles on Twitter: @NickCattles