After the draft it was evident that the Dolphins’ wide receiver core lacked the talent it takes to be competitive in the National Football League. The Dolphins are full of young, talented players at the position but to think the BJ Cunningham’s, Rishard Matthews’s, Roberto Wallace’s, and Marlon Moore’s of the world are ready to come in and fill the shoes that were left behind when the Dolphins sent Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears is just crazy. Monday the Dolphins signed the artist formally known as Chad Johnson who today goes by the name of “Chad Ochocinco” which has some of the fan base filled with joy while others are left scratching their head. The question out there is “Ochocinco” just a big-name or can he still contribute at a high level.
Ochocinco has an impressive resume which is highlighted by seven 1,000 yard receiving season in his eleven year career but at the start of the 2012 season he will be 34 years old and it is clear that he has lost a step. To expect Ochocinco to be the player he was in his prime would be an injustice but the Dolphins signing of Chad makes sense on manning levels. Here are some of the reasons why Ochocinco to Miami make sense…..
- He brings experience and leadership to a position that currently doesn’t have a leader. While Brian Hartline and Davone Bess have some tenure in Miami they are nowhere near the leader that Ochocinco is. Chad can teach his young counterparts the tools of the trade while still being a productive player on the field.
- He received a low-risk, high-reward contract which was a one year deal in the $1 million dollar range which in today’s’ NFL is nothing.
- Just two seasons ago Ochocinco hauled in 72 receptions for 1,047 yards and 9 touchdowns.
- He brings more viewers and media attention to the Dolphins debut on the HBO series, “Hard Knocks”. The key to the Dolphins being on this highly anticipated show is that it will draw attention to their team. For the first time in a long while the Dolphins will be the focus of the league and having a personality like Ochocinco will only draw more attention and viewers.
- He is reliable. Ochocinco fully dedicates himself to the game and even abstains from alcohol use to keep his body in tip-top shape. Unlike former Dolphins’ diva receiver Brandon Marshall, Ochocinco has had no run-ins with the law and is a model citizen off the field.
- He is the best receiver on the Miami Dolphins. In the Dolphins’ new attacking style of offense Chad Ochocinco should have a role similar to Greg Jennings role in the Packers’ offense under the tutelage of Joe Philibin. I expect to see a lot of three receiver sets that have Ochocinco, Brian Hartline, and Davone Bess on the field at the same time and while he is an ageing player he has the ability to be the most productive receiver on the roster.
Sure there are concerns with Ochocinco’s antics on the field and how he could effect the growth of Ryan Tannehill should things not go well but this is a smart move by the Dolphins’ brass as the upside of Ochocino’s production is far greater than the risk of his one year, one million dollar contract.