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Naaman Roosevelt. Andrew Hawkins. Jordan Norwood. These are three receivers that the casual NFL fan has most likely never heard of. But also, they are three receivers that each had more catches than Chad Ochocinco had last season.
The New England Patriots released Ochocinco Thursday, after just one season with the team. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Patriots tried unsuccessfully to trade the six-time Pro Bowler before his release.
New England grabbed headlines last offseason after acquiring the colorful receiver from the Cincinnati Bengals in a trade for two low-round draft picks. But the hype surrounding the move was never met, as Ochocinco had a disappointing campaign, posting career-lows in receptions (15), receiving yards (276), and receiving touchdowns (1).
He ranked sixth on the team in catches, grabbing fewer than running back Danny Woodhead. With the money Ochocinco earned last season, his production (or lack thereof) cost the Patriots over $380,000 per reception.
Ochocinco’s final games with New England were rocky, as he was inactive for the AFC Championship after reportedly attending his father’s funeral. This came one week after playing just one snap in the Patriots’ win over the Denver Broncos.
Super Bowl XLVI, Ochocinco’s last game with New England, also featured his final catch with the Patriots. He finished the game with one reception for 21 yards.
Ochocinco became expendable after the Patriots acquired receivers Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney, and Donte Stallworth this offseason. Ochocinco now joins the likes of Braylon Edwards, Plaxico Burress, and old friend Terrell Owens as unrestricted free-agent receivers.
Most players would be understandably upset after being released, but Ochocinco is not like most players. Just hours after the news of his release broke, in a way that only Ochocinco could pull off, he updated his Twitter biography to read, “Unemployed black guy.”