Chad Johnson is back to his old name, legally changing it after four years of going by "Ochocinco." Though the change was motivated by marriage, perhaps the 34-year-old hopes having "Johnson" on the back of his jersey will improve his production.
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In the five seasons leading up to Johnson's name change to Ochocinco, the 2001 Cincinnati Bengals second-round draft pick averaged 92 receptions for 1,374 yards with nine touchdowns. He also went to the Pro Bowl each season. In the four seasons as Ochocinco, he averaged 52 catches for 674 yards and scored 18 touchdowns, hitting rock bottom with 15 catches for 276 yards and just one TD in 15 games with the 2011 New England Patriots.
"My personality was controlled last year (in New England)," Johnson told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. "You didn't hear me at all last year. Zero. Zilch. When my mouth is running, it forces me to perform. It's never been vindictive. I never got anybody in trouble.
"One of the things I like about being here, that's so refreshing, and is such a weight off my back, is I can be me, whatever that entails. When I can be me, I am loose. Everything just flows for me. Whether it's the style of play, the way I learn."
Johnson will need a monster season to maximize his contract. According to a source with knowledge of the details, there are no guarantees in Johnson's deal, which calls for $925,000 in base salary and $1.075 million in incentives tied to receptions.