The Ochocinco "brand" begins to re-emerge

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The Ochocinco "brand" begins to re-emerge

It's starting. For more than two months, "Chad Ochocinco, Patriots wide receiver" was able to keep "Chad Ochocinco, Marketing Brand" in the basement. But "The Brand" is restless. And this week, it peeked out to see if the coast was clear to start promoting itself again. It began with an end to Ocho's Twitter silence, an extended layoff from the social media forum that he said came as the result of a lost bet.
During his first return foray, he ripped back at fans who criticized him for a lack of on-field production and his notable late-game drop in the Patriots only loss of the season at Buffalo. And then on Friday, Ocho's girlfriend Evelyn Lozada, started marketing shirts mocking Ocho's lack of production for the Patriots. Ocho put up a half-hearted protest on Twitter, asking, "You hating also?" Of course, he also re-sent the path to make a purchase to his nearly 3 million followers so they'd have a chance to follow along and buy a shirt if they wanted to. It's impossible to believe Ocho didn't sign off on this little marketing campaign by his girlfriend. And if he'd taken real exception to it, he wouldn't have passed along the link. Talk about tone deaf. How do you think that goes over with teammates who are busting their asses to perform when a guy who dropped a touchdown pass in the team's only loss is signing off on someone making a buck off his ineffectiveness? How do you think that goes over with the coaches working to get him up to speed in an offense he's so far been an afterthought in? How does it go over with the people who are giving him 6 million to play football. Extreme example? Imagine if, after two weeks, Devin McCourty's girlfriend had started selling "Devin Can't Cover" t-shirts. Ocho is far from a bad person. He's a fascinating guy who is making the most of the life he's carved out for himself. Football has played a major role in his being able to create an audience, but football is only a part of who he is now. It is a means to an end and the end, it seems, is fame, attention and being able to share his life-view with a sprawling forum. The Patriots like to say about their best players, "Football is important to him." Football might be important to Ochocinco, but it's far from the most important thing he's got going. But even I'm surprised to see that selling t-shirts that make a joke of his vocation is more important to him than the game.

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

With free agency just around the corner, the Bruins have officially cut ties with former first-round pick and last bastion of the Tyler Seguin trade, Joe Morrow.

The 24-year-old Edmonton native arrived in Boston along with Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser in exchange for Seguin when he was shipped to Dallas, and now all of those players have moved on from Boston as well. Boston does still carry Jimmy Hayes on their roster, a player traded from Florida in exchange for Smith, as a last remnant of the Seguin deal, but it isn't expected to be too long before Hayes moves on from Boston as well.  

The B’s announced on Monday afternoon that they hadn’t extended a qualifying offer to Morrow, as well as P-Bruins power forward Colton Hargrove, as a restricted free agent, and that both B’s youngsters were now free to sign with any of the 30 NHL teams as free agents.

The Bruins extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents in Noel Acciari, Linus Arnesson, Austin Czarnik, Zane McIntyre, David Pastrnak, Tim Schaller, Ryan Spooner and Malcolm Subban, and will retain the associated team rights with all of those players. Negotiations are ongoing between the Bruins and Pastrnak continue over a long term deal that would put him in the same $6 million plus per season level as teammate Brad Marchand, but one source with knowledge of the negotiations indicated it’s “not close” to being a done deal.

Some RFA’s like Spooner and Subban might not necessarily fit into the long term plan for the Black and Gold, but they need to maintain their rights if they hope to trade them as valued assets down the line.

Morrow never put together the talent that made him a former first-round pick while he was in Boston, and totaled just one assist in 17 games for the B’s before playing well in five playoff games after getting pushed into duty due to injuries. In all Morrow finished with two goals and nine points along with a minus-8 rating in 65 games over three seasons in Boston, but could never string together an extended run of consistent play at the NHL level.

With the Bruins in the market to bring on another left-shot defenseman into the Boston fold this summer, it was pretty clear that the time had come to move on from Morrow while allowing him to potentially develop as an NHL D-man elsewhere. 

Tom Brady claims No. 1 spot on NFL's top 100 list

Tom Brady claims No. 1 spot on NFL's top 100 list

The NFL Network revealed the final 10 players on its annual Top 100 list Monday night and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady finished in the No. 1 spot.

On NFL.com, the Top 100 list is described as the answer to the question, "Who are the top 100 players in the NFL today?" If that's the criteria -- and not simply performance in 2016 -- then Watt's complaint actually doesn't hold much water. If he's healthy, no one would argue that he's one of the best 35 players "in the NFL today."

Several Patriots players made the cut on this year's list: Rob Gronkowski (No. 23), LeGarrette Blount (No. 80), Julian Edelman (No. 71), Dont'a Hightower (No. 94) and Malcolm Butler (No. 99). 

Brady was also voted in as the No. 1 player back in 2011.