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Chad Ochocinco's Departure Ushers In A New Era For Bengals Offense

Chad Ochocinco will long be considered one of, if not the best wide receiver in franchise history. Some will take exception, arguing for Isaac Curtis who was in his own right a tremendous all-around receiver. But Chad holds key franchise records, such as total receptions (751), yards receiving (10,783) and touchdown receiving (66). Additionally Chad set the top five best receiving seasons, capped with a 1,440 yard-receiving season in 2007, along with a single-game record of 260 yards receiving against the San Diego Chargers in 2006.

With Chad Ochocinco's trade to the New England Patriots, it opens the door for a new era. An era without Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco or an established veteran wide receiver opposite of him. Andre Caldwell now becomes your more experienced wide receiver, Jordan Shipley your most productive (based on the average of a single season) and Jerome Simpson becomes your most explosive. Yet we're forced to remind ourselves that the team drafted A.J. Green, who could become the combination of all three.

And the best part about the Chad Ochocinco trade coming to an end? Not having to call him Chad Ochocinco anymore.

Along with Chad Johnson's trade, Carson Palmer is retiring and the Bengals elected not to sign an aging or seriously injured wide receiver to play opposite of Chad. Marvin Lewis replaced Bob Bratkowski, who was the team's offensive coordinator for five seasons. In a matter of seven months, the Bengals will have a new quarterback, two new starting receivers, a new offensive coordinator, a new offensive philosophy (and system) and a new wide receivers coach compared to this time last year.

Currently the team's nine wide receivers on the current roster have a combined 166 receptions, 1,805 yard receiving and nine touchdowns.

If you're not excited about the prospects of entering a new era, then you need to put down baseball bat and ditch the anger. Don't think about Mike Brown and the history of violence that his name invokes; at least for right now.

In the meantime, here's the team's signed wide receivers for 2011 and a visual representation of their inexperience.

  Games Rec. Yards TD
Andre Caldwell 38 87 855 3
Jordan Shipley 15 52 600 3
Jerome Simpson 13 21 279 3
Quan Cosby 32 6 71 0
A.J. Green 0 0 0 0
Ryan Whalen 0 0 0 0
Shay Hodge 0 0 0 0
Bart Johnson* 0 0 0 0
Landon Cox* 0 0 0 0
  98 166 1,805 9
* Unconfirmed 2010 undrafted free agent signing