Cincinnati Bengals  

 

Ochocinco vows to switch last name back to Johnson

  • By NFL.com
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Chad Ochocinco is no more. Welcome back, Chad Johnson.

The outspoken Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver made the name-change announcement Tuesday on ESPN's "NFL Live," saying: "I've done enough with this Ocho thing. It was fun."

Ochocinco cautioned that switching his last name back to Johnson won't be official until he legally changes it. But given the ease with which he did it the first time, he shouldn't have much of a problem.

Before the 2008 season, Ochocinco, then Johnson, announced he would change his name to Ocho Cinco to reflect the No. 85 on the back of his Bengals jersey. When he followed through by legally changing his name, it was condensed to one word -- Ochocinco -- reportedly because that's how it was spelled on the name-change application.

Regardless of the last name, Ochocinco's relationship with Bengals coach Marvin Lewis hasn't been a smooth one. And it took a frosty turn at the end of this season when Ochocinco accused his coach of throwing him under the bus by calling the wide receiver "mopey."

Ochocinco adressed the animosity Tuesday in his usual playful fashion.

"Before the season starts, I do need to fight with my head coach," he said.

Could Ochocinco's impending name change be a prelude to a change of employer as well? Ochocinco has one year remaining on his current contract and insisted Tuesday that he will remain a Bengal, going as far as to say, "I'm wearing stripes next year."

But that was a different tune than the one Ochocinco sang last week when he published tweets suggesting he could end up with the New England Patriots next season. Lewis responded to that by telling the Boston Herald, "(Bill) Belichick's smarter than that."


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Ochocinco fired back Tuesday.

"If Belichick is smart enough not to come and get me, does that mean (the Bengals) are dumb enough to keep me?" he asked.

Ochocinco's future in Cininnati has long been under scrutiny. His request for a trade in 2008 was denied, and he has since said he is happy playing in Cincinnati. But that didn't stop him from commenting on quarterback Carson Palmer's trade request, first reported Sunday by ESPN.

"I understand where Carson is coming from," Ochocinco said Tuesday. "The tension that's built up, and losing, in a way is wearing on him. A lot of things went on. You always try to be the solution to the problem, but at some point, there's a bigger problem than us as players. Whatever that problem is, it's not going to get solved, and it's really bad when it gets to the point when your franchise quarterback wants out."

Ochocinco believes Palmer's reason for wanting to be traded comes down to winning.

"I have no idea what the problem is. In my case, I wanted to go to a place where I had a chance to win," Ochocinco said. "I'm pulling for Carson. I hope he gets what he wishes, because he needs to win. So do I."

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