June 14, 2012
By STEVEN WINE | Associated Press
MIAMI (AP) — Out of work and not ready to retire, Chad Ochocinco found a job back in his hometown.
The former Pro Bowl receiver signed with the Miami Dolphins on Monday, four days after being released by the New England Patriots.
The signing came after Ochocinco had a tryout with the Dolphins, who are thin at the position and dropping a lot of passes in offseason drills. He’s likely to join the team for this week’s OTAs, which continue through Wednesday.
“Congrats to Chad,” tweeted his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. “It’s nice to come home.”
The 34-year-old Ochocinco, a Miami native, made the Pro Bowl six times, most recently in 2009. He had only a minor role in his lone season with the Patriots, catching 15 passes for 276 yards.
The Dolphins traded Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears in March for two third-round draft picks, and didn’t draft a receiver until the sixth round. Following a practice Monday, coach Joe Philbin conceded there has been room for improvement in the pass-catching during offseason workouts.
“You would like to have some players make it easy and distinguish themselves, maybe make the picture a little bit clearer,” Philbin said. “We have to catch the ball more consistently at every position on offense, because it is not quite where it needs to be.”
Marshall’s off-field issues wore on the Dolphins, and Ochocinco can be high-maintenance, too. His antics have sometimes annoyed his teammates and coaches, and his touchdown celebrations led to an NFL crackdown.
In his career, Ochocinco has caught 766 passes for 11,059 yards and 67 touchdowns. All of the Dolphins' returning receivers have less than a dozen career TDs.