Chad Ochocinco is looking for a new home, but NFL teams aren't breaking down the door for a 34-year-old wideout who appeared lost in New Englandâs offense last season.
Ochocinco's on-field confusion with the Patriots is well documented.
Greg A. Bedard of The Boston Globe spoke to multiple sources over the course of last season who claimed Ochocinco just didn't get it. Coaches would instruct Ochocinco on how to run a route, only to have him forget minutes later.
Patriots receivers coach Chad O'Shea broke it down for Bedard at the Super Bowl:
"At times, there are four decisions that a receiver needs to make after the snap the way our offense is," O'Shea said. "That's one of the advantages of our offense, that we give players a lot of flexibility within the system to take what the defense gives us. And thatâs definitely something that's unique about our offense."
Ochocinco was hampered by last year's lockout and forced to absorb former coordinator Bill O'Brien's system on the fly. (Let's not forget, he was paid $5.75 million to do so.) He made strides late in the year, but with Josh McDaniels taking over for O'Brien, Ochocinco was behind the curve again this offseason.
This is not the Cincinnati Bengals. Much is asked of Patriots wideouts, both on the field and in weekly preparation for the opponent. One week, you're at the center of the game plan; the next you're a decoy. We've seen New England bring back Deion Branch and Jabar Gaffney for exactly this reason. They've proven they can roll with the system and Tom Brady feels comfortable with them. Ochocinco never developed that connection with his quarterback.
Even with Ochocinco's reduced salary for 2012, this highly publicized experiment had run its course.