Report: Patriots ask Ochocinco to restructure his contract

Shutdown Corner

Chad Ochocinco, who accomplished very little in 2011 with the New England Patriots, will have the opportunity to continue being a New England Patriot ‒ as long as he's willing to do it for less money.

Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal reports that the Patriots would like Ochocinco to restructure his contract. For each of the next two seasons, he has a base salary of $3 million with a salary cap hit of $6.2 million. That's probably a little out of line for a guy who caught all of 15 passes last year.

It's not hard to see the silver lining here, though. At least the Patriots do want him back, even if it is at a reduced rate. They must feel like there's some potential there for Ochocinco to contribute in 2012, and they don't mind his presence in the locker room, either. The Patriots have never been shy about cutting loose dead weight. So they at least feel like The Ocho is something more than that.

The rap on Ochocinco in 2012 was that he wasn't learning the offense or getting comfortable with Tom Brady. If that's the case, then who's to say that there won't be some kind of breakthrough in Year 2? The Patriots must feel like the work ethic is there. Maybe this was just one of those things that was going to take time.

If Ochocinco did get back to the Pro Bowl production of his best Cincinnati years, and the Patriots could add that to Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, we could be looking at something pretty amazing. And if he never gets there, well, at least he won't be all that expensive.

Gracias, Mac's Football Blog.

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