|07.28.11 at 7:51 pm ET|
So by now, you know that Chad Ochocinco is coming to New England as the Patriots have acquired the six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver in a trade with his former team the Bengals. Whatever opinion you have about the deal and how Ochocino will or will not help the Pats in the pursuit of their fourth Super Bowl championship, one thing is for certain: The flamboyant, charismatic wideout will certainly bring a flavor all his own to the New England sidelines.
Here’s a look back at some of the most memorable moments we’ve seen from Ochocinco during his 10 years in the NFL:
10. Off the field
We’ll get to the on-the-field moments ‘ and there are plenty of them ‘ in a moment, but this list wouldn’t be complete without a place for Ochocinco’s off-the-field behavior. While it should be stated that usually when off-the-field stuff comes up in NFL circles, it’s in a negative context, usually dealing with run-ins with the law or Tom Brady‘s hairstyle. That certainly isn’t the case with Ochocinoc, but his antics off the field are a bit nutty.
There was his stint on Dancing with the Stars last year (2:45 to see him actually dance):
|07.28.11 at 5:49 pm ET|
Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco has been dealt to the Patriots, according to multiple media reports. In 10 seasons in the NFL ‘ all of them with Cincinnati ‘ the 33-year-old out of Oregon State has 751 catches for 10,783 yards and 66 touchdowns. A six-time Pro Bowler, Ochocinco best season was 2005, when he had 97 receptions for 1,432 yards and nine TDs. According to ESPN, Ochocinco has accepted a restructured three-year contract from the Patriots.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Cincinnati will receive two late draft picks from New England in return for Ochocinco — a pick in 2012 and one in 2013.
|07.28.11 at 4:10 pm ET|
The Patriots signed third-round pick running back Stevan Ridley on Thursday, as his agent announced the pact via twitter. Tweeted agent Andy Simms: “Stevan Ridley is all ready to join Patriots. Signed this morning.”
The Pats took running backs in back-to-back rounds in April’s draft, as they selected Cal’s Shane Vereen in the second round before tabbing Ridley out of LSU in the third. The two will join Danny Woodhead, Sammy Morris and BenJarvus Green-Ellis, all three of whom will be returning from last year’s team.
Not blessed with tremendous speed, Ridley is a hard runner who figures to contribute more by running running at people than by trying to maneuver around them. He wasn’t a contributor in the passing game in college and doesn’t figure to be in the NFL. Ridley had 1,147 yards on 249 carries last year as a junior. He had 15 rushing touchdowns.
|07.28.11 at 2:50 pm ET|
According to a tweet from Adam Schefter of ESPN, the trade of Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb to the Cardinals in exchange for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick is done. Schefter adds that Kolb’s contract extension will be for five years and $63.5 million, with the quarterback getting $21 million in guaranteed money.
An unexpected second-round (37th overall) pick out of Houston in the 2007 draft, Kolb has been highly-touted since entering the league, but has played sparingly because of his role initially as a backup to Donovan McNabb and later to Michael Vick. Kolb was the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 300 yards in each of his first two starts. Viewed potentially as a system quarterback at the time of his selection, he figures to somewhat ironically be the only quarterback taken in the 2007 draft to begin the coming season as a starter. JaMarcus Russell, chosen first overall in that draft, is out of the league while Brady Quinn, the other first-round quarterback in 2007, was traded to the Broncos in 2010 and will compete with Tim Tebow for snaps this season.
Rodgers-Cromartie was drafted 16th overall in the 2008 draft by the Cardinals out of Tennessee State. In three professional seasons, he has 13 career interceptions.
|07.28.11 at 2:37 pm ET|
According to a tweet from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, former Jets jack of all trades Brad Smith will sign with the Bills. [UPDATE: ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes the deal is for four years and $15 million.]
Tweeted Mehta on Thursday: “Brad Smith expressed desire to stay w/Jets several times, but offer never made. Putting finishes touches on deal to #Bills, per source.”
The former Missouri quarterback served as a returner, wide receiver, running back and quarterback after being chosen by the Jets in the fourth round of the 2006 draft.
|07.28.11 at 2:01 pm ET|
FOXBORO ‘ If there was a question as to whether or not the NFL would be welcomed back by fans after the longest work stoppage in league history, that was quickly out to bed when the Patriots took the field for their first workout of training camp Thursday morning. The team was cheered by what appeared to be very nearly a full house, who stayed and watched even though it was little more than a glorified walkthrough.
‘When we stepped on this field, it was a relief. It was like, ‘It’s finally back.’ It’s only training camp, but it’s back,’ said defensive lineman Vince Wilfork when asked about the cheers. ‘We missed this for over four months. We missed this feeling. To get this feeling back, it’s a good feeling to have.’
After the practice session, which ran for roughly an hour, it appeared that the entire team made its way over to the rope line and signed autographs.
‘It was a welcome back,’ said Wilfork of the signing session. ‘We’re all excited. The fans are excited, the players are excited, and the owners are excited. Everyone is excited that football is back. That was us saying, ‘Welcome back, thank you for your support, good or bad, whatever it is.’ That was to say, ‘We’re here.’’
Defensive lineman Ty Warren said that the late Myra Kraft played a sizable role in the team’s decision to sign autographs at the end of a training camp practice.
‘That system that’s in place, that structure that I think is really influenced by Myra Kraft,’ Warren said. ‘I don’t think it’s a propaganda thing at all. I think it’s a straight-up genuine thing where Myra would probably be rubbing her knuckles through [Bob] Kraft‘s head if what was displayed today didn’t happen today.’
|07.28.11 at 2:01 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Ty Warren feels rested and ready to go. And his addition to the Patriots defensive line this season after missing all of 2010 with a hip injury that required surgery may be the most significant in camp, even moreso than a certain former Pro Bowl pass rusher who is headed north from the nation’s capital.
For the first time in his career, Warren didn’t reach double figures in games played. As a matter of fact up until 2010, Warren had played in at least 13 games since his rookie season in 2003, when he was taken in the first round, 13th overall, out of Texas A&M.
Since becoming a regular starting left defensive end on Bill Belichick‘s always-changing defensive front, Warren had become one of the Patriots’ most reliable and versatile linemen on the defensive line, right there with Vince Wilfork and Richard Seymour through 2008.
Warren rewarded the Patriots with steady – if not spectacular – play, earning the trust of Belichick and the defensive staff. That trust landed him on the field in all down situations and allowed the Patriots to trade Seymour prior to the 2009 season. In short, Warren is a known commodity, with 20.5 sacks in seven seasons prior to 2010, including a career-high 7.5 sacks in 2006.
Warren saw his season come to a premature end with a hip injury during training camp, an injury that eventually required surgery.
“It’s about as fresh as I’ve been in a long while,” Warren said. “It’s just good to be fresh. The guys that played last year that weren’t here over the offseason, I’m sure those guys are fresh as well.”
Warren’s absence in 2010 was a huge loss for the Patriots pass rush, as teams felt more comfortable double-teaming Vince Wilfork. But he said Thursday that injury is in the past and it’s not been on his mind of late.
“No, not really. That was really the first big injury I ever had, period,” Warren said. “It just presented a different challenge for me as far as getting back onto the field. I never doubted myself. I feel confident enough to know if I’m out there doing what I need to do, everything will fall in line.” Read the rest of this entry »