Chad Ochocinco will likely play his last game in a New England Patriots uniform this Sunday at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.
Would he consider a move to Chicago, where he would team up with Jay Cutler and Matt Forte?
Ochocinco is scheduled to make $3.1 million next season, but the Patriots will probably void his contract unless he takes a big pay cut.
With that being said, he could come very cheap and could turn out to be a solid addition to any team in need of a veteran wide receiver.
In New England, he hasn’t gotten into the flow of the offense and has fallen behind Julian Edelman and Tiquan Underwood on the depth chart.
Ochocinco didn’t even suit up for the AFC Championship game against Baltimore.
In 15 games this season, he reeled in 15 passes for 276 yards and one touchdown.
Obviously those stats aren’t very good, but Ochocinco still has talent. He just needs to be put in the right situation.
At age 34, he could bring the knowledge and consistency the Bears have been lacking for a long time at the wide receiver position.
The Bears receiving core has Earl Bennett, Johnny Knox, Devin Hester and Dane Sanzenbacher under contract for next season. All of those players stand 6 feet tall or below.
Knox might not be ready for training camp due to a back injury he suffered against Seattle in Week 16 of the season.
Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice has made it clear that the Bears have to add some size to the position. New general manager, Phil Emery has a liking to the taller receivers.
In Atlanta, Emery found a gem in Roddy White and in Kansas City, he drafted Dwayne Bowe and Jonathan Baldwin.
The Bears would like to find a gem like Roddy White or Dwayne Bowe at the 19th spot in the first round of the NFL Draft, but adding a veteran like Ochocinco might not be a bad idea.
Devin Hester struggled to stay healthy this season with an ankle problem and was better focusing on the return game. Bennett and Knox are solid when healthy, but the Bears don’t have anybody that scares defenses or even causes double teams.
6’3″ Michael Floyd, who enjoyed to straight 1000 yard seasons at Notre Dame would be a steal at the 19th pick. He has dealt with alcohol issues, including a DUI, but claims that he is past all of that nonsense.
Would the Bears be willing to take Floyd at 19, even with all of his troubled history?
Another option would be 6’3″ Marvin Jones from Cal. He isn’t in the same skill class as Justin Blackmon from Oklahoma State, who is a sure top 10 pick or even Michael Floyd from Notre Dame, but he is a solid receiver.
The Bears could wait to pick him in the second round, unless the receivers start to get drafted early on.
Jones enjoyed two straight seasons of 700 yards or more at Cal.
Adding a tall young promising receiver in the draft would be the first step to the Bears improving on offense.
But would adding Ochocinco to the mix help even more? He’s proven he isn’t a big distraction anymore and would likely benefit from a full off-season learning the playbook.
Lets say the Bears select Floyd at 19 and sign Ochocinco. The receiving core for 2012-2013 would look like this: Bennett, Floyd, Knox, Ochocinco, Hester, Sanzenbacher.
That would be an improvement over what the Bears had this past season, right?
The Bears might decide to spend more money on the position, which more fans would be pleased to see, but if they can get a solid #1 in the draft and Ochocinco on a discount then why not pull the trigger.
Don’t be surprised to see the Bears go this route because free agents like Vincent Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, and Pierre Garcon will be costly this off-season.
Jake Perper is the owner and head writer for Bearsbacker.com. He is also the Chicago Bears writer for NFLTouchdown.com. Follow him on Twitter, @Bearsbacker and on Facebook for up to the minute news about the Bears.