Chad Ochocinco finds himself a new NFL team

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Chad Ochocinco finds himself a new NFL team

From Comcast SportsNet
MIAMI (AP) -- Former NFL Pro Bowl wide receiver Chad Ochocinco signed with the Miami Dolphins on Monday, four days after being released by the New England Patriots. The signing came after Ochocinco had a tryout with the Dolphins, who are thin at the position and dropping a lot of passes in offseason drills. He's likely to join the team for this week's OTAs, which continue through Wednesday. The 34-year-old Ochocinco, a Miami native, made the Pro Bowl six times, most recently in 2009. He had only a minor role in his lone season with the Patriots, catching 15 passes for 276 yards. The Dolphins traded receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears in March for two third-round draft picks, and didn't draft a receiver until the sixth round. Following a practice Monday, coach Joe Philbin conceded there has been room for improvement in the pass-catching during offseason workouts. "You would like to have some players make it easy and distinguish themselves, maybe make the picture a little bit clearer," Philbin said. "We have to catch the ball more consistently at every position on offense, because it is not quite where it needs to be." Marshall's off-field issues wore on the Dolphins, and Ochocinco can be high-maintenance, too. His antics have sometimes annoyed his teammates and coaches, and his touchdown celebrations led to an NFL crackdown. In his career, Ochocinco has caught 766 passes for 11,059 yards and 67 touchdowns. All of the Dolphins' returning receivers have less than a dozen career TDs.

Hightower, Branch will begin training camp on PUP list

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Hightower, Branch will begin training camp on PUP list

The Patriots will be without two of last year's defensive starters when training camp begins later this week. 

Both Dont'a Hightower and Alan Branch were placed on the physically unable to perform list on Monday. They are eligible to come off the list at any time. Once they are removed from the list, they will be eligible to practice fully. Players on PUP count against the 90-man training-camp roster.

Undrafted rookie tackle Andrew Jelks will begin camp on the active/non-football injury list. The Vanderbilt product dealt with knee injuries that kept him off the field each of the last two seasons. 

Neither Hightower, nor Branch, nor Jelks participated in spring practices at Gillette Stadium. Hightower was present for voluntary work, but during practices open to the media he typically did some conditioning off to the side. Branch skipped optional team activities (as he usually does), and though he was in Foxboro for mandatory minicamp, he did not practice during that three-day stretch.

Hightower was limited last season with knee and shoulder injuries. The MMQB.com's Albert Breer said on Sports Sunday that Hightower's health concerns made teams reticent to make him offers that would lure him away from New England. 

Report: Patriots in talks with CB Brandon Flowers

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Report: Patriots in talks with CB Brandon Flowers

In what’s been a somewhat busy offseason for their secondary, veteran cornerback Brandon Flowers is in talks with the Patriots, according to Adam Schefter. 

Flowers, who spent the first six seasons of his career with the Chiefs and last three with the Chargers, was released in March. He is set to meet with the Cardinals this week as well. 

The Pats lost cornerback Logan Ryan this offseason, but landed the top free agent corner on the market in Stephon Gilmore. A potential addition of Flowers might give them an insurance policy if second-year pro Cyrus Jones fails to improve from a dismal rookie season. 

Flowers was limited to just six games last season, as a concussion ended his season in December. He has played in at least 11 games in the rest of his NFL seasons. His lone Pro Bowl nod came in the 2013 season.