In the end, the smoke cleared, and the players and owners got a deal done. Bring on the 13 minutes of action and three hour run time! Unfortunately for the organizations, that left very little time to sign free agents which left a race in the NFL that I don’t believe even Usain Bolt could have won. There were some losers and winners but one of the teams that made a big splash in the free agent market was none other than our beloved New England Patriots....
The two big names that everyone wants to read about are, of course, Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth. Ochocinco will bring with him 751 catches for 10,783 yards and 66 touchdowns in a ten year career. Oh, and he will most likely bring his ability to make each touchdown celebration a sideshow. I am not concerned at all about if Chad can catch the ball. He’s a great receiver. Add on Tom Brady as the quarterback, and we may just see a career year for Ochocinco.
The thing that worries me (and every other Patriots fan), is if we will see the same Ochocinco that plagued Cincinnati for years. He was quoted saying, "It is going to be a little quiet. You won't get the same Chad you are used to, and I probably won't be talking to the media much, probably not at all, really. I just want to play ball and ride the wave." To give the benefit of the doubt to him, we haven’t heard much from him since the initial wave of interviews. I just hope that Ochocinco realizes this is Belichick’s correctional facility… he won’t be afraid to bench anyone who may just make the first foot fetish joke towards Rex Ryan.
That’s not to say we didn’t love it Wes!
I believe that Chad will fit in. I believe that Chad will help this team succeed and that he wants to win. He has been a proven receiver for years and works hard to run his routes and stay in shape.
Albert Haynesworth may just be the exact opposite, at least work ethic wise. He was quite the disgruntled player in Washington and put up a temper tantrum when Mike Shanahan told him he’d have to play in a 3-4 defense. Lucky for Haynesworth, it has been reported that the Patriots will be switching to more of a 4-3 defense. Congratulations, we awarded the brat. However, Haynesworth should succeed in the 4-3 and become the Pro Bowler he once was.
The athleticism is there. The talent is there. But are we lacking the motivation? Not according to Haynesworth, "It's a great chance to be on a great team. It's a chance to restore my name or whatever you want to say. It's a great chance to get back on the field and play football."
And play football is exactly what we want you to do, Albert. We are counting on you to give us the satisfaction of seeing many quarterbacks (*cough* Mark Sanchez *cough*) in the dirt. I believe that Haynesworth has what it takes to help the Patriots. I’m not entirely convinced that he will though. This is the same man that took 10 days to pass a physical.
The Patriots don’t need my advice obviously. With their proven record of reshaping troubled players, and the leadership and hard ass that we call Bill Belichick, I have faith in this 2011-2012 season. Sometimes though, having faith isn’t enough. Sometimes, we as spectators need that trophy to be able to agree with decisions that the organization may have made. Just look how trading Kendrick Perkins worked out for the Celtics last season. So, I’m speaking to you Chad and Albert; get it together. Work hard. Live up to your promises. And above all, do things the Patriots way.
Written by: Jordan
Sources: NFL.com and NFL.com