Bengals appear to be early winners in Chad Ochocinco, Carson Palmer trades

Bengals' future. (US PRESSWIRE)

After 10 months, 15 receptions and one touchdown, Chad Ochocinco's career as a New England Patriots has come to its inglorious conclusion.

New England was unable to trade him and now Ochocinco is free to hawk his wares elsewhere. But that might be the problem. As's Mike Freeman wrote Thursday night, there probably won't be much of a market for a 34-year-old coming off a disastrous season, but that doesn't mean he's out of NFL options (like the other half of the self-anointed dynamic duo, Terrell Owens), just that he'll have to temper his expectations to match reality: Ochocinco isn't a No. 1 receiver. And depending on the system, he's not a No. 2 or a No. 3, either. 

One destination that doesn't appear to be in Ochocinco's future: Cincinnati, where he was a 2001 second-round pick and amassed 751 receptions for 10,783 yards and 66 touchdowns in 10 seasons.

Cincinnati Enquirer beat reporter Joe Reedy writes that "As for a reunion here, we don’t see it happening, especially with the way things ended here. Also two of his last three seasons here, Ochocinco wasn’t the receiver he once was. From 2002-07, Ochocinco averaged 88.5 catches for 1,339 yards and eight touchdowns per season. Over the last three, it was 64 catches for 806 yards and 5.7 touchdowns."

Meanwhile, the Bengals, once considered an NFL laughingstock, are now AFC up-and-comers. Not only did the team make the playoffs last season with rookie quarterback Andy Dalton and Ochocinco's replacement, rookie wideout A.J. Green, they've suddenly developed a not-before-seen shrewdness in the personnel department.

In addition to the aforementioned Dalton and Green, the Bengals have parlayed recent player trades into a youth movement that should sustain the organization for the next few years. Again, via Reedy: "So for trading Carson Palmer, Ochocinco and Keith Rivers, the Bengals got Dre Kirkpatrick, Marvin Jones and George Iloka in this year’s draft and still have picks in the second (for Palmer) and sixth (for Ochocinco) rounds next year."

And the news keeps getting better. Cincinnati is no longer the league leader in player arrests. Reportedly, that honor now belongs to the Detroit Lions.

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CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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