Wide receivers are, for the most part, strange men, but few take it as far as Chad Ocho Cinco. First… well, his name is Chad Ocho Cinco. He legally changed his name so he could have a different uniform. It’s been over a year and that’s still just mind-boggling. His quirks and antics were entertaining sideshows while he was one of the best receivers in the business, and they always had an element of mirth that was missing from the more, shall we say, acidic me-first receivers (by which we mean Terrell Owens).
But as Ocho Cinco’s skills have begun to diminish, so has the light-heartedness of his behavior. Wearing a Hall of Fame jacket (above) is much funnier than, let’s say, repeated trade demands. Then there’s this, his refusal to join in mandatory workouts with the Bengals. While that’s not terribly calamitous for the team, it does come at a rather substantial cost to Chad–a quarter of a million dollars. Or, as the Spanish would say, uh, el quarter of a million dollars (We never took Spanish class).
ESPN notes, rather dryly, that “his willingness to risk losing a quarter-million dollars could be another sign of unhappiness.” Uh huh. And that beer in John Daly’s hand could be a sign of problem drinking.
It’s a sad state of affairs for Ocho Cinco, who at 31 is probably only five years away - tops - from retirement. Wheels get slower. This stuff happens. When it comes to looking back on a HOF-type career, does he have the resume for Canton? We’re not so sure.
Ocho Cinco’s only got 53 touchdowns in his career, and he’s barely in the top 50 for most career yards in NFL history. Worse yet, he hasn’t won in the playoffs (0-1 all time), and the Bengals don’t look anywhere near capable of reaching them this season. Sure, he can ask for a trade (again), but who’s going to pay Ocho-type money for a receiver who only scored four touchdowns last season? He’ll probably need to restructure his contract soon, and that’s going to require putting away the ego - something that clearly hasn’t happened yet.