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Offseason spotlight: What should the Bengals do with Ochocinco?

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Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press
Chad Ochocinco posted 53 receptions for 540 yards and four touchdowns last season.

As part of NFL Network's 32 teams in 32 days series, airing daily on Total Access, takes a look at a key question facing each NFL team. NFL Network analyst Rod Woodson and former NFL GM Charley Casserly of CBS Sports discuss the future of Chad Ochocinco. Should the Bengals reverse course and try to trade Ochocinco, or keep him in Cincinnati?

Read their takes and then enter the discussion below.

Woodson: A valuable asset

The Bengals will end up keeping Ochocinco.

I think Ochocinco is still one of the better receivers in the league, even though he had a subpar year in 2008. Remember, Carson Palmer was still coming back from an injury last year, and this is his second year back -- he'll be better another year away from the injury. They addressed a lot of needs in the draft. I think the defense will be that much more aggressive.

Part of a successful passing game with Ochocinco is the health of the running game. Cedric Benson is back. If he's healthy, he's going to be a very solid and efficient back. That will open up the passing game for Palmer and Ochocinco, Laveranues Coles, Chris Henry and the others.

I think they'll end up keeping Ochocinco, and he'll look a lot like what Chad Johnson used to look like. That's the receiver I want to see this year.

The bottom line is that the ownership likes him a great deal. He's a valuable player. He's a valuable asset to the team, and why get rid of a valuable asset when you really don't have to?

Casserly: Bengals haven't wavered

I think the Bengals should keep Ochocinco, as they've shown they're going to do all along.

I don't think they should give in to a player's demands for a trade -- he signed a contract, and he should honor it. The key is that Ochocinco, by his own admission, has said he didn't do anything to prepare for last season. It showed. He got hurt, and then didn't have a good season. Supposedly he's working out and ready to play.

Really, the onus is on Ochocinco to see where he's at in his career. Did last year indicate that his career is winding down? Or was last year a down year because he wasn't ready to play. I really think that's what's important regarding Ochocinco.

This scenario often comes back to whether a player can force himself out from where he is. I would say in this case, that's no. The Bengals will live and die with Ochocinco.

The Bengals have given no consideration to trading Ochocinco. I can say that. They've never wavered on that topic. It's just not going to happen.


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