Curran: Ochocinco-to-Patriots chatter on the rise

Curran: Ochocinco-to-Patriots chatter on the rise
July 28, 2011, 8:44 pm
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By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO -- The "Ochocinco" brand is an entity separate from "Chad Ochocinco, NFL wide receiver."Which is why caution is necessary when reading about the hints he's dropping about joining the Patriots. But that's exactly what he's been doing on this Thursday. Corporate cousin Mike Florio had a post on Ocho's allusions earlier this afternoon. The relevant direct message directed at an Ochocinco Twitter follower said the media was just trying to stir things up said, Media knows nothing but Im going to enjoy clam chowder. Ocho being Ocho, there are other folks out there on Twitter who've received indications that the once-brilliant wideout may be headed to Foxboro, including a gentleman who has the Twitter handle @WAD1980. In order for this to happen, the Bengals would either have to release him and his 6 million salary he's slated for in 2011 (a real possibility given his consistent nose-thumbing at owner Mike Brown) or deal him (a more likely scenario so that Cincinnati gets something in return). Whether Brown and the Bengals would send Ocho where he wants to go is up in the air. But it is leverage the Bengals can use against him and whichever team might be interested in acquiring him. The 33-year-old isn't the player he was from 2002 through 2007 when he was arguably the best receiver in football. But he's still been productive even on a bad team (139 catches for 1,878 yards and 13 touchdowns in his last 30 games). Whether he can tamp down his need for attention in New England and not drive Tom Brady batcrap crazy is a logical question. But Brady loves talent, and Ochocinco has it. The Patriots could use Chad Ochocinco the football player. The other stuff -- as genuinely entertaining as it all is -- they can probably do without. Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran