FOXBORO, Mass. — Chad Ochocinco made a dramatic debut Friday afternoon during the Patriots' fourth practice of training camp. About 10 minutes into the session, Ochocinco jogged to the sideline to slip on a helmet and No. 85 jersey, and he joined the team's drills.
Earlier Friday, Bill Belichick said trade acquisitions who restructured contracts would not be able to practice until next Thursday. Therefore, Ochocinco's participation in practice might indicate that he did not restructure his deal as originally reported by several outlets.
Ochocinco took part in each drill, and when he wasn't running routes, he was talking with Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Deion Branch and wide receivers coach Chad O'Shea. Ochocinco made one impressive catch over the middle of the field, reaching backward while leaping for the ball, and it drew a loud cheer from the crowd.
Tight end Aaron Hernandez did not participate in practice, though he did work out to the side, and he was wearing shorts with No. 81 on them. The transaction must have taken place immediately before practice because Ochocinco's helmet did not have a number on it.
Rookie offensive lineman Marcus Cannon was present for the first time after signing his contract, but he didn't participate in practice. Tackle Nate Solder, cornerback Ras-I Dowling and running back Shane Vereen — the Patriots' top three selections — were the only draft picks who have yet to sign.
Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, guard Logan Mankins, cornerback Kyle Arrington and defensive lineman Myron Pryor were the absentees.
The Patriots announced defensive lineman Ty Warren, tight end Alge Crumpler, offensive lineman Nick Kaczur, defensive lineman Marcus Stroud, linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, cornerback Tony Carter and linebacker Ryan Coulson were released.
The Pats will hold one practice Saturday from 8:30-11:30 a.m., and they're permitted to practice in full pads with contact because it will be their fourth day of training camp.