NFL: What Does Chad Johnson's Name Change Mean?

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Ok, my first question is, why did Chad change his name in the first place? Was he sick and tired of being known as a Johnson? Were opposing players constantly pummeling him on the field with Johnson jokes? And did anyone ever tell him that “ocho cinco” is eight-five, not eighty-five?

And why is he changing it back? Does he think he would have won 'Dancing With the Stars' if his name had been Johnson? Is he now going to try again? Does he think that Darrelle Revis can cover Ochocinco, but he can't cover Johnson? Is he now planning on marketing his Johnson? Did opposing teams chants of "Ocho Stinko" hurt his feelings? Or did he finally just realize that he was a better receiver as Johnson then he was as Ochocinco?

Yesterday the enigmatic Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver told ESPN's NFL Live that he is planning to change his last name back to Johnson. There’s no news at the moment on whether his parents are happy about that or not.

On Monday Chad said that he wanted to play for the New York Jets’ Rex Ryan, but yesterday #85 said that he would like to return to the Bengals whether or not Carson Palmer returns. "I'm wearing stripes next year," he said. "I'm excited to come back and I'm ready to go. I'm not sure who will be at the helm back at quarterback. I love Cincinnati and the fans."

If he does return to Cincinnati, it will be interesting to see how his relationship with Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis changes. Apparently there is no love lost between Ochocinco/Johnson and Lewis. When Lewis was asked last week about the speculation that Chad might be traded to the New England Patriots, Lewis said, “Bill Belichick is too smart to do that.”

Assuming there is an NFL season next year, and at the moment, that’s a dubious proposition at best, Chad is currently under contract to play his 11th season with the Bengals at $6 million.

I'm guessing this won't affect his marketing deal with Cheerios as there are two O's on Johnson...

Mike Cardano is the founder of Around the Horn Baseball and Xtra Point Football. You may email Mike directly @ or follow him on Twitter @ MC3 SportsMedia

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