With $6 million due to Chad Ochocinco in 2011, the Cincinnati Bengals have the option to exercise a $3.5 million buyout that would let the veteran wide receiver hit free agency in 2011. And it's widely believed that the Bengals could, at least, entertain the notion of going with the younger wide receivers in Jerome Simpson, Andre Caldwell and Jordan Shipley who proved that they can produce and help the team win.
However, until the Bengals actually exercise the buyout, Chad Ochocinco will be a Cincinnati Bengal in 2011.
Along with issues of returning to Cincinnati, head coach Marvin Lewis spoke about Chad's future during an appearance on ESPN's Mike And Mike In the Morning on Wednesday.
"Chad's under contract for the 2011 season. There is no option. No anything like that people keep speaking about. He's just flat under contract. He's a member of this football team and at some point he's going to address his ankle this offseason and move forward."
The option idea has been floated around by everyone. And we mean everyone. Ranging from the national media to the local media, all saying the same things citing the same numbers. So we know the option is there. Whether or not Lewis actually knows if the option exists, is another question. But it seems more likely that Lewis just wants to push the issue aside publicly by being naive until a firm decision is made; it's not like Lewis actually gets into conversations based on speculation.
Chad had another year towards general degradation of production, recording 67 receptions for 831 yards receiving and four touchdowns.