The NFL had agreed to let the player formerly known as Chad Johnson wear his new name on the back of his jersey this season. There's one catch for the receiver: It's not exactly how he wanted it.
Instead of Ocho Cinco, he'll be Ochocinco.
The receiver legally changed his name in Florida last August. He asked the league and the media to call him Chad Ocho Cinco, a two-word nickname he had adopted referring to his No. 85.
The Bengals complied, but the NFL balked. It said the receiver would have to pay for the large inventory of "Johnson" jerseys that Reebok stocked for the season -- ones that would be a tough sell -- before he could switch. The receiver declined, choosing to play the season under his old name.
The league has agreed to let him wear his new name this year, but it will be rendered as "Ochocinco" because that's how he wrote it when he submitted his name-change form in Florida.
"It's his legal name," AFC information manager Corry Rush said Thursday.
The receiver said last year that he wanted his name to be "Ocho Cinco." Neither he nor his agent returned phone messages Thursday to discuss the name being one word instead of two. He was still selling shirts and other gear under the "Ocho Cinco" name on his Web site.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press