The price for the New England Patriots to get former Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco in the trade that went down on Thursday afternoon seems like yet another veteran free-agent bargain for Bill Belichick's bunch: a fifth-round pick in 2012 and a sixth-round pick in 2013. And the way Belichick likes to trade down for extra picks, you could easily say that the Pats basically got His Chadness for free — all they have to do is work him into their roster financially, which they've already done with a new three-year deal.
Now, Ocho isn't what he used to be, but he's still a great route-runner who can be fairly dynamic downfield. If it seems as if the Bengals low-balled themselves a bit … well, it gets worse. All you have to do is to go back a few years.
In the spring of 2008, former Washington Redskins general manager (and current football analyst, for some unknown reason) Vinny Cerrato was trying to hold on to a job that he would soon lose to the Mike Shanahan/Bruce Allen regime. In the name of making a big splash on offense, Cerrato offered Washington's first-round picks in 2008 and 2009 to Bengals owner/goofball Mike Brown in exchange for Senor Ochocinco …
…and Brown refused. Yes he did. Take it away, Vinny, in a recent recollection:
"Do you think that Mike Brown will eventually trade Carson Palmer?" Cerrato asked Cincinnati Enquirer beat writer Joe Reedy. "I mean, I was part of trying to trade for Chad Ochocinco, and when they said no, they meant no. And Marvin [Lewis] would have done it. Two No. 1s, that's exactly what it was. And I talked to Katie Blackburn's husband all the time, and he just said listen. I talked to him at the owners' meetings, and I called him. He said no is no, quit calling, we're not trading him....
"Drew [Rosenhaus] was pushing it hard, Chad was pushing it hard, and you know what, I think it worked out best for the Redskins that it didn't happen at the time. I think we ended up with Orapko [sic] and somebody else, so I think that worked out well, and Chad has declined quickly."
As usual, we don't even know where to begin with Vinny. Maybe we should start with the fact that he was BRAGGING about trying to trade two first-round picks for a receiver — any receiver. Second, he can't even recall whether he drafted end Brian Orakpo in 2008. In fact, the Redskins selected Orakpo in the first round of the 2009 draft — they didn't even have a first-rounder in 2008, having given it away for more picks in the second round. And in that 2008 draft, Cerrato claimed two receivers — Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly — who were absolute busts. Each in the second round.
That said, the real kicker here is that Brown turned down those draft picks in the first place. Especially now that he's given up the best receiver he's ever had for so much less. It shouldn't be too much of a surprise, though — who's better at buying high and selling low than the Bengals?