Chad Ochocinco's interesting offseason brought him to the University of Cincinnati on Friday, when he trained with the Bearcats before promising to wrestle an alligator.
Following his workout with the school's football team, the Bengals' loquacious wide receiver also told WXIX-TV that he's convinced quarterback Carson Palmer is serious about his plans to retire if the team doesn't trade him. Bengals owner Mike Brown repeatedly has said he won't deal Palmer.
"There's this one thing you have to understand about Carson. When a guy that grows a random beard says he's going to do something, he means it," Ochocinco said. "Seriously. Seriously, That's totally out of his character. When someone like that grows a random beard and says he's going to retire -- if he doesn't get traded -- he means business. And it's unfortunate, but it is what it is."
"I love (Palmer), you know that. You know how I feel about him, and I always will," Ochocinco said. "Everything I've done, I like to say that Carson is the reason for my success -- as so is everybody else. But, you know, he's the quarterback, period. And I think he's in a frustrated state, similar to what I was couple of years ago (when the receiver asked to be traded). And hopefully everything comes around. I understand we drafted Andy Dalton, who is a great quarterback, and after getting him, I've done my own homework in watching him ... and he's really good."
After 10 seasons with the Bengals, Ochocinco's relationship with longtime coach Marvin Lewis has been rocky, leading the receiver to joke that he could "whip Marvin's (expletive) right now," before clarifying that his coach has "been good to me."
Said Ochocinco: "He's the reason for my, ugh, everything. I've been with him eight, nine years. I mean, you know a little spat last year, a little spat here and there, it's a part of life. It's a part of marriage. ... I would love to still be here, and I have no problem ... I can't control the situation as a whole; I can only control me. And what I've done is I've been at peace for a while now. For a while now, you haven't heard a peep out of me as far as being a problem or saying things out of context, I'm just really supporting the Bengals' organization and the city."
Now, about that alligator. Ochocinco claims that when an exasperated Brown suggested the receiver next wrangle snakes as part of his carnivalesque offseason that also has included bull riding and a soccer tryout, he decided to go one step further.
"I just one-upped (Brown): I am going to wrestle alligators," Ochocinco said. "Don't laugh, like I am serious and you'll see it. And I am living life.
"In Okeechobee (Fla.), I am wrestling alligators. Actually, catching them in the wild. Which is going to be really interesting, I am catching them in the wild. I forgot the individual's name who is going with me, who does it for a living. It's pretty dangerous, I could lose an arm, lose a leg, you know ... so was bull riding. So the chance of me getting hurt on the bull is similar to the chance as me winning the lottery, slim to none. And the same thing with alligators. If he bites me, I can still play with one arm. (Because) I can kick, seriously."
Ochocinco also described a plot to sneak into Paul Brown Stadium during the lockout, when players are prevented from accessing team facilities, in order to use workout equipment.
"I freaking plotted to get into Paul Brown; they changed the freaking gate code!" he said. "Yeah, I tried to get in on my own, I tried to get in the back way. I don't want to say it, but there's a way to get into the stadium even though they have the security and all the cameras -- I got the blueprint of the stadium."