NFL

Ochocinco keeping his name with Pats

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady discuss the acquisition of WR Chad Ochocinco.
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady discuss the acquisition of WR Chad Ochocinco.
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP)

It looks like Chad Ochocinco won't have to change his name again.

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That was the colorful wide receiver wearing his usual number 85 at practice for the New England Patriots on Friday, one day after being traded by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Ochocinco, a reference to the Spanish words for the numbers 8 and 5, legally changed his name from Johnson before the 2008 season. On Friday, he had the number worn last year by rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez, who hasn't practiced following hip surgery in February. Hernandez was on the field wearing shorts with the number 81.

Fans cheered when Ochocinco took the field for the afternoon session. Tom Brady connected on passes to him. Teammates went over play charts with him.

''I've watched him for a long time,'' Brady said. ''He brings a lot of energy to the team.''

The verbose Ochocinco didn't speak with reporters, although the Patriots officially announced the trade for undisclosed draft considerations on Friday. Later in the day, they officially announced the trade for Washington defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. The Redskins get a 2013 fifth-round draft choice.

Each transaction was confirmed on Thursday by persons familiar with the deals who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because none of the teams had announced the moves at that point.

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Haynesworth needed 10 days to pass the conditioning test with the Redskins before last year's training camp. The Patriots did not say why he wasn't on the field on Friday.

''They're at different stages'' of completing the work needed to get on the field, coach Bill Belichick said before the morning walkthrough. ''One player has some things and another player has other things.''

Ochocinco joins Wes Welker and Deion Branch in a strong, experienced receiver corps.

''He's been a very prolific receiver. I think he's had a bunch of production over the years,'' Brady said. ''Hopefully, he can come in here and find a role on this team, as we're all trying to do.''

During the walkthrough, a serious-looking Ochocinco spent considerable time talking with Brady and Branch as teammates ran through plays.

''I know he's excited,'' Brady said. ''He's excited to be out here and I think he's excited to be a part of a new team.

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''Everyone's really searching for a role for themselves. We're all trying to establish a role for ourselves, Chad, myself, Wes, Deion and all of us are trying to figure out what we can do to help this team win.''

Brady had surgery in January for a stress fracture in his right foot but participated in three days of voluntary workouts with teammates at Boston College during the 4 1-2 month lockout.

''I feel really good,'' he said. ''I feel about as good as I can feel.''

Brady was one of the plaintiffs in the players' lawsuit against the NFL lockout. That suit was dismissed as part of the settlement on a new 10-year deal.

''I think that I'm just glad that we're back here playing. I haven't thought too much about `ah, it's over,' '' he said of the lockout. ''It feels like football season to me. It feels like training camp to me. And it feels like we have a lot of work to do.''

So does Belichick. He has to run practices while assembling a roster.

On Friday he released six veterans and one rookie free agent. They were defensive end Ty Warren, offensive tackle Nick Kaczur, tight end Alge Crumpler, linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, defensive lineman Marcus Stroud, cornerback Tony Carter and rookie free agent linebacker Ryan Coulson of Nevada.

Warren, a starter for six seasons, and Kaczur, a regular for five seasons, spent all last year on injured reserve. Those two plus Crumpler each carried salary cap numbers of at least $3 million.

The Patriots also signed two draft choices - quarterback Ryan Mallett of Arkansas, a third-rounder, and offensive lineman Marcus Cannon of TCU, a fifth-rounder.

Haynesworth can be a dominant player but feuded all last season with Redskins coach Mike Shanahan. And he's had a number of legal troubles.

''Everyone starts at a clean slate'' when they join the Patriots, Brady said. ''You put the team first and come out here and do your job. So I don't think we say, `aw, man, because you did this 12 years ago, I think I should have an opinion of you.' I think you develop relationships with players and I think they develop relationships with you, and you see as you go.''

He last played against Haynesworth in a preseason game before the 2009 season and suffered what the Patriots called a sore shoulder after being crushed to the turf by the 335-pound tackle late in the first half.

Brady missed the rest of the game, but played all 16 regular-season games.

''I saw him this morning and I said, `I still haven't forgiven you for that,''' Brady said. ''He said, `God, I've got a lot of friends up here,' and they've all given him a lot of grief over the years.''

Tagged: Bengals, Redskins, Chad Johnson, Albert Haynesworth, Ty Warren, Patriots, Tom Brady, Deion Branch

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