New Miami Dolphins receiver Chad Ochocinco played 10 years with the Cincinnati… (Andy Lyons / Getty Images )
Chad Ochocinco is returning to Miami.
The six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver has signed with the Miami Dolphins, the team he rooted for as a child, four days after being released by the New England Patriots.
"From Liberty City (The Journey) back to where it started Liberty City..." Ochocinco tweeted Monday night in reference to the Miami neighborhood in which he grew up.
The Dolphins have confirmed that the player formerly known as Chad Johnson will be assigned No. 85, avoiding any possible confusion or need for another name change.
The signing will give Ochocinco a chance to prove he can still be a top-tier receiver after a disappointing season (15 catches for 276 yards and one touchdown) with New England. He has caught 766 passes for 11,059 yards and 67 touchdowns during his 11-year career, all of which was spent with the Cincinnati Bengals until last season.
None of the Dolphins' returning receivers have more than a dozen career touchdowns. Brandon Marshall, the team's leading receiver the last two years, was traded to the Chicago Bears for a pair of third-round draft picks in March.
In addition, the Dolphins have been dropping a lot of passes during off-season drills, not a good sign for a team looking to break in rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
“You would like to have some players make it easy and distinguish themselves, maybe make the picture a little bit clearer,” first-year Coach Joe Philbin said. “We have to catch the ball more consistently at every position on offense, because it is not quite where it needs to be.”
Ochocinco could be with his new teammates for a portion of this week's organized team activities, which conclude Wednesday.
Will Chad Ochocinco sign with another team?
Does Chad Ochocinco know where he is playing next?
Chad Ochocinco tries out for "Hard Knocks" -- er, the Dolphins