It was an interesting day for Pats fans. Albert Haynesworth in the morning, Chad Ochocinco in the evening. It's one of the most intriguing day in Patriot maneuvers since Randy Moss was traded. And the phrase to repeat over and over is "low risk, high reward."
And there is a high reward. Haynesworth was an All-Pro twice, Ochocinco received that honor 4 times. These are two extremely talented players. One has numerous on the field and off the field problems. The other was stuck in Cincinnati, where they find ways to lose even when talent falls into their laps (see: allowing Palmer to retire), and is perhaps in the twilight of his career.
Albert Haynesworth is a lazy scumbag. There, I said it. He's got a bit less than Randy Moss potential, and puts in even less effort than Moss did with Oakland. Now, if he tries, he can help the Patriots. If he tries, he'll at least be a second DT, to give relief for Wilfork, and sometimes play in a 4-3. And the Pats play more 4-3 than most people realize.
If Haynesworth tries, and still has "it," then things get fun. Wilfork can shift to DE in a 3-4, where he played a significant amount of time last year, and be free to rush upfield, using his power, and surprising speed. A line of Wilfork, Haynesworth, and Warren would present some difficult conundrums for opposing offensive lines. And that would also help out the LBs.
If Haynesworth doesn't try, the Patriots lose a 5th round pick. Would you draft a defensive lineman with his upside, but with his baggage, with a 5th round pick? I would.
Then there's Ochocino, whose problems are not effort related. This is a guy with seven 1,000 yard seasons under his belt. Thought he can't do the deep thing anymore. But the Patriots are ingenious in implementing matchups to allow guys like him to get open, and get the ball. He's not Randy Moss. His longest reception last year went for 42 yards. But he can still produce.
Ochocinco gets a slightly unfair reputation because he tweets and talks. But his effort and dedication have never been in doubt. We all thought it was silly when he kicked PATs for the Bengals in a preseason game against the Pats. But he nailed the kicks, which demonstrates that he'd been practicing them. He was the Bengals' emergency kicker because he put in that little bit of extra effort, not as part of some joke or stunt.
Ochocinco might have to cool down the tweets, or at least edit them. But he already has a tremendous rapport with Belichick. I think Ochocinco will slot in nicely with the Pats, and find himself in a Deion Branch kind of role.
One thing's for certain, and that is uncertainty. Will Haynesworth try? Will Ochocinco give bland press conferences? Suddenly, training camp and preseason games have become more interesting. And that's good. These guys CAN help. I'm pretty sure Ochocinco will help. I have no idea if Haynesworth will.
All I know for certain right now is that perennial Belichick doubter/hater Ron Borges has his doubts, which is typically a good sign.