Risk isn’t worth reward for Ochocinco

As a veteran NFL player, Chad Ochocinco knows wrong from right. I understand he has opportunities off the field and is thinking about his future after football, but right now he’s a high-profile player, the top receiver on his team and someone who gets paid a lot of money to go out and peform.

Of all things, riding a bull just isn’t a safe thing.

When it comes down to it, Ochocinco is putting himself at risk. But it’s more about his team, who right now are counting on him to be a productive player, a leader and a mentor for A.J. Green. Ochocinco is smart and knows what he has to do to prepare for the season, but this is a very high-risk thing to do that doesn’t offer much in return.

I understand the premise of his decision, but the risk just wasn’t worth the reward.

It’s easy for people to use his off-field endeavors as an excuse as to why Ochocinco hasn’t been as productive in recent seasons. Maybe the offense isn’t as good as it has been, maybe the quarterback play hasn’t been where it has needed to be, or maybe he and Carson Palmer just haven’t been on the same page.

And there is nothing wrong with having off-field endeavors. But you have to have a balance and properly prioritize things. If you look at Terrell Owens, his production hasn’t dropped. I will say this: As a professional athlete, nothing should ever interfere with your main job, because it’s the basis for everything else you will do after football.

It seems Ochocinco is already in that transition, but he’s not done playing.

Know that no one remains the same player over time, and there are very few guys like Jerry Rice or Tim Brown. I think Ochocinco is still a productive player if he wants to be, but an important part of getting older in football is doing even more to prepare. As a receiver, he doesn’t have the luxury of changing positions and veteran players have to work even harder later in their careers to maintain a certain level of production if they want to still be considered a top player.

That’s something I always took pride in. Ochocinco needs to know the Bengals are relying on him as a big part of what they need to be successful.

— Willie McGinest

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