Posted: 5:05 p.m.
By the power vested in Broward County, Florida, Chad Johnson's name is now legally "Chad Javon Ocho Cinco," in what he calls a reinvention of the Ocho gig.
"Ocho Cinco 2.0" is what Johnson is calling it, but what the NFL is calling it remains to be seen. Could Johnson be looking for "Ocho Cinco" to go across the back of his No. 85 jersey?
"Hint, hint," he said of the marketing potential. "It's something I don't think anyone has ever done before. Have I ever had a reason for why I do what I do? I'm having fun."
Now he's done it legally in a move first reported by ProFootballTalk.com. And according to the document from the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, the name change won't "invade the property rights of others, whether partnership, patent, good will, privacy, trademark, or otherwise."
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail Friday that the league is looking into it.
Don Hinchey of The Bonham Group, an internationally influential sports and entertainment company based in Denver, estimates Johnson could make this legal name change work for as much as "in the low seven figures."
"He's definitely got some cachet. He's really turned it into kind of a brand name. The media has picked it up and that can help him extend it. He's edgy enough and unpredictable enough that that would appeal to a lot of people on a jersey."
The highest selling jersey on NFLshop.com from Aug. 1 to Aug. 26, of course, was Brett Favre. The only receivers in the top 25 were Terrell Owens and Randy Moss. Could an Ocho jersey fire up sales, for which players get less than 10 percent on each jersey sale?
"He's a tremendously talented guy and very magnetic, but he's also volatile," Hinchey said. "I see him as almost like a football Dennis Rodman. But I think if he stays away from that, I think it's a pretty smart move. He's got some good market sense."
Johnson's popularity took a hit in the offseason with trade demands, holdout threats, and boycott of the voluntary practices. But since the start of training camp he has been all for it, saying and doing all the right things, and he remained a popular player during the camp at Georgetown College.
He has been especially hard-working since he suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder Aug. 17 and while there is the possibility his shoulder could pop out of the socket and end his season, he is proud of his weightlifting.
"Today I did my normal routine, I just went right down the row (of weight machines)," Johnson said Friday after sitting out Thursday's game. "Everything was at 100 pounds. I felt good. Tell Cincinnati I love them and to come along for the ride. It's going to be fun."
Johnson won't say what he has up his sleeve. But he said it's not going to change much.
"You can call me anything you want," he said.