Could Ochocinco Be a Bear? - NBC Chicago
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Could Ochocinco Be a Bear?



    ESPN's Adam Schefter has floated the notion that Chad Ochocinco could end up in Chicago. The Bengals won't want to hold onto his big contract, and the Bears could use receivers of his caliber. Ochocinco has even made interludes to the Bears players on Twitter, sending messages to Jay Cutler to call him.

    But would he be a good fit? Let's break it down like rational, obsessively organized people: a pros and cons list.


    He's pretty good
    : Ocho's a six-time Pro Bowler, has led the league in receiving yards, and has been the Bengals' go-to guy for 10 seasons. He has a level of experience that is lacking among Bears receivers.

    He's fun: Quick, name the Bear whose interviews you never miss. Name the Bear who you love to watch off and on-the-field. Name the Bear who will consistently get fans across the country talking. Name a Bear who even has a catchphrase. Can't do it. The Bears have excellent players, but no one who makes you jump up and yell, whether in anger or agreement. Ochocinco could fill that role.

    He cares: One common thread that has run through all of Ochocinco's antics is that he really, really loves to play football. He has been fanatical about staying in shape in the off-season, and his star turn on HBO's "Hard Knocks" showed a man who above all, wanted to perform well for his team.


    His production has fallen off in recent years
    . He led the league in yardage in 2006. Since then, he's battled injuries and lost a step. His uptick in production in 2009 didn't signal a turnaround, as he only gained 831 yards in 2010, less than Johnny Knox. At 33, he won't likely have many more great seasons in him.

    He could be a distraction. As fun as he is, he can also be a whole lot for a team full of bland players to deal with. Lovie Smith likes his teams boring and effective.

    The X-factor that doesn't fall in either list is price, which will be a huge determinant for the Bears in a decision to go after Ocho or not.

    If a deal to end the lockout is struck in the next few weeks, free agency will start soon thereafter. In that frenzied period, the Bears will have to make a quick decision on Ocho. Do you think they should? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter.