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Ochocinco: I'll stay with Bengals until they tell me to go

Chad Ochocinco was right at home at Super Bowl Media Day, though he admitted he'd rather be on the other side of the media scrum instead of covering the event for his self-titled network, OCNN.

"Unfortunately, I'm on the wrong side. I'm with the media," the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver said Tuesday on NFL Network.

Ochocinco longed for the day he could be a part of Media Day as a player, though he knows he must be a member of a Super Bowl contender before that can become a reality. As it stands, the 4-12 Bengals appear to be far away from that goal -- so much so that Ochocinco's quarterback, Carson Palmer, requested a trade after eight seasons in Cincinnati.

While the Bengals haven't agreed to Palmer's demand, they did fire offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski on Monday. Ochocinco thought the move was made to appease Palmer and hopefully get him to back off the trade talk.

"I think Carson made a demand. Changes are being made already I guess to accommodate his demand," Ochocinco said. "I guess the organization will do whatever it takes to make him happy.

"Our offensive coordinator was fired yesterday, for whatever reason, I'm not sure why. We've had some of our best years with him at the helm. I'm not sure where that firing came from. I'm sure other changes are soon to come."

Whether those changes involve Ochocinco has yet to be determined. He is under contract with the Bengals next season, but he has done little to quiet talk about a possible change of employer. Until Tuesday.

"I'm not sure," Ochocinco said of his future. "Cincinnati is all I know. The Bengals is all I know. That city, the fans is all I know. I will continue to embrace that."

Ochocinco downplayed rumors that he has been lobbying to play for the New England Patriots.

"I've never flirted," he said. "I've always been an open and honest person. I would never flirt with then enemy. I'm under contract as a Bengal, and I always will be until (owner) Mike Brown or anyone else says, 'Your services are no longer needed here.' Period.

"And probably when they do tell me that we don't need your services no longer, I still might not go. Seriously. You're not going to make me play 10 years and tell me I'm no longer. No, you've got some explaining to do."

Ochocinco believed he had some explaining to do after a war of words with Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, who late in the season referred to the receiver as "Mopey." Ochocinco took offense, even offering to fight his coach in a cage match.

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"When your son is not getting out of line, you don't reprimand him. You don't punish him," Ochocinco said of his relationship with Lewis. "You don't say certain things about him. This is a season that didn't go well for us as a team, this is a season that didn't go well for myself, as a whole. So there are certain things that were said when I was down and out and hurt, injured. And I would expect for one person to have my back. That would be my father. That father figure. That person I confided in for the past eight years. I didn't get that at a certain point and then got a little sour."

But Ochocinco wanted to make it clear that he holds no ill will toward his coach.

"Regardless, Marvin Lewis will always be loved by me," Ochocinco said. "Regardless of what he does or what he says. You know, he takes shots -- it is what it is. I love him to death.

"I don't want anybody to get that confused. I play around with the octagon thing, but I have the utmost respect for him and where's he's gotten me to my career at this point."

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Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) rushes during an NFL football game between the between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)

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