He never made an impression with the team despite their trip to the championship game and the Patriots ultimately revamped their receiving corps this off-season.
Ochocinco still has a lot left in the tank however. He showed glimpses last year that he could make plays but struggled to get on the field because he didn't fully understand the playbook. The Patriots' complex offense was too much for Ochocinco, but that doesn't mean he won't find a new home elsewhere.
Here are a few teams who could pick up the 34-year-old.
The Browns are in desperate need of a starting wide receiver to play across from Greg Little. Little is a fine prospect, but he would benefit largely from Ochocinco's experience as well as his ability on the field. Without Ochocinco, the Browns don't have another receiver capable of dragging coverage away from Little.
Ochocinco would be a good fit in Cleveland as he knows the AFC North well and wouldn't be playing in a very complex offense. The Browns' offense will focus on Trent Richardson next year but Brandon Weeden will still get his opportunities. Ochocinco would be an immediate starter, but whether he really is willing to play for a non-competitive team is another issue altogether.
The Texans should be the favorites to give Ochocinco a new home. The team is in desperate need of an upgrade at the second receiver spot whether it be from a youngster stepping up or adding a veteran. Ochocinco would be the perfect fit playing across from Andre Johnson.
Unlike Kevin Walter, Ochocinco has the ability to take advantage of single coverage and make impactful plays down the field. He may be older, but his route running and strength makes him dangerous in space. The Texans should be the favorites for the AFC South this year also so Ochocinco would be delighted to play for Gary Kubiak's side.
The Bills have some very talented young receivers on their roster. David Nelson, Donald Jones and rookie TJ Graham are all fighting to be the team's second receiver with Stevie Johnson. While you don't want to disrupt the growth of those younger receivers, the Bills will be very tempted by Ochocinco.
After an incredible off-season, the Bills are hoping to compete for the AFC East this year. While a lot of moves have been made on defense, Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn't had too many toys added to his arsenal this off-season. Adding Ochocinco would give him the type of receiver that would flourish in their system while also giving the Bills two of the stronger receivers in the NFL.
The Cowboys lost Laurent Robinson after his incredible season last year as their third wide receiver. Robinson spent a lot of time as a starter for the Cowboys as they suffered through some injuries. Miles Austin and Dez Bryant will hopefully be healthy for the season this year, however that cannot be guaranteed while the Cowboys could do with a better third choice over Kevin Ogletree.
Ogletree isn't a bad receiver, but giving Romo another proven weapon in the form of Ochocinco could really push the Cowboys offense over the top.
Chad Ochocinco is the exact type of receiver that Peyton Manning would love. He runs crisp routes and will consistently catch the football regardless of where he is on the field. The Broncos could do with another veteran receiver, but the worry is that Manning's offense may be too complex for the receiver.
Very few offenses will be as complex as the New England Patriots' is, but the Broncos probably will be with Manning.
I'm a massive fan of Kyle Shanahan's playbook. Shanahan features a lot of very decisive routes that rely on the receiver's ability to make cuts and breaks to get free. Ochocinco is a similar receiver to Santana Moss at this point of his career and could find a new home with rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III in Washington.
Ochocinco will get to choose his new team however, playing with a rookie quarterback may not be desirable.
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