|Ocho's not getting paid a ton in Miami. (US Presswire)|
Looks like we were correct when we said it wouldn't take Chad Ochocinco long to find work. He's officially a member of the Dolphins as of Monday. And, because you're super-curious, Ocho will be wearing No. 85 the team announced on Tuesday.
Of much greater interest, though, is how much the Fins are paying Chad for his services. And according to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, Miami signed the wideout to a one-year deal worth $925,000.
That (relatively!) paltry sum is the veteran's minimum for someone with Ochocinco's experience and, according to King, the full amount of the deal will count against the Dolphins cap ... if Chad makes the team.
There are also reportedly incentives written into the deal; King reports that Ochocinco can make up to $2 million total, "but those incentives are steep."
"He'll have to catch at least 80 balls with the Dolphins to make much in extras," King writes.
But the Dolphins decision to take a flyer on Ochocinco isn't about locking down a guaranteed performance from an established veteran. It's about finding decent ground between two parties with mutual interest.
The Dolphins need wide receiver help, badly. (I joked about it on Twitter, but are we sure Ryan Tannehill isn't the best pass-catcher on the roster?) And Ocho's value to NFL teams is at a career-low. At 34 years old, he's coming off the worst season in his career, when he was a non-factor for the Patriots, before getting cut.
If he can make the Dolphins and can contribute, it would significantly pump up his value and at the very least lend some credence to the notion that it was a playbook thing -- versus a talent thing -- that got him run out of New England.
But even if Ochocinco is in great shape, makes the team and gets significant snaps, the upside for his performance is still pretty low. His former teammate, T.J. Houshmandzadeh appeared on Sirius XM on Tuesday and was quite bullish about Chad's performance, saying he could be the "best receiver on the team." And even Housh put 60 catches as Chad's ceiling.
"I think Chad will be the best receiver on the team," Houshmandzadeh said. "If he stays healthy, he can catch 60 balls."
Housh also said that it was the New England playbook that messed up Chad. But it's that 60 number that gets me -- it's probably too high if you're making a projection for what 85 will do in Miami, and it could still make him the best wideout on that team?
The real lesson here is that the bar is set low for Dolphins wideouts in 2012.
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