Ochocinco, Haynesworth rumored as possible cuts

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Ochocinco, Haynesworth rumored as possible cuts

By Phil Perry
CSNNE.com

Would Bill Belichick cut either Chad Ochocinco or Albert Haynesworth to send a message?

One NFL executive thinks so. According to Dan Pompei of the National Football Post, one executive familiar with the Patriots believes one of or both Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth could be cut before the end of training camp.

From the National Football Post:

Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth might not be long for New England ... one NFL executive familiar with the Patriots' ways told me he believes one or both of the big name acquisitions will be cut before the season starts. The front office man thinks coach Bill Belichick will use the controversial players to help control and send a message to his locker room.

A few things to consider before returning your new Ochocinco jersey to the Patriots Pro Shop:

Similar rumors surfaced about Randy Moss when he arrived at Patriots camp in 2007. Moss didn't participate in most of his first training camp with the Pats and some thought Belichick might send the future Hall of Famer packing. Instead, Moss turned in one of the best seasons a receiver has ever had. He caught 98 balls, set a record for touchdown receptions (23), and helped lead the Patriots to an undefeated regular season. So there's that.

If the Patriots decided to cut Ochocinco, it would be an expensive message to send. Ochocinco's base salary is only 1 million this season, but PFT reports that Ochocinco picked up a 4.75 million signing bonus when he restructured his deal. Even if he was cut before the start of the season, Ochocinco would stand to make about 5 million -- a pretty penny for the Pats to make a point. And that's not to mention the two future picks the Patriots traded to the Bengals to acquire Ocho in the first place.

It would cost much less to cut Haynesworth. He didn't receive any up-front bonuses so the Patriots would end up losing the fifth round draft pick they traded to the Redskins in return for Hayneswort, and that's about it. For that reason, Haynesworth getting snipped is the more believable of the two possible cuts suggested by the National Football Post's unnamed NFL executive. But until anything happens, this seems to be nothing more than one front office man's opinion.

Mike Giardi: Don’t think Patriots will use franchise tag on Dont'a Hightower

Mike Giardi: Don’t think Patriots will use franchise tag on Dont'a Hightower

Mike Giardi discusses the odds that the New England Patriots franchise tag Dont'a Hightower and what he expects the Pats to get if they were to trade Jimmy Garoppolo.

Arizona Cardinals place franchise tag on Chandler Jones

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Arizona Cardinals place franchise tag on Chandler Jones

PHOENIX - The Arizona Cardinals, in an anticipated move, have placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on outside linebacker Chandler Jones after failing to reach a long-term deal with the player.

The non-exclusive tag allows the Cardinals to continue negotiating with Jones through July 15. If another team makes him an offer, Arizona can either match it or receive two first-round draft picks.

It's unlikely that any team would express interest in Jones, however, given what it would cost.

Under the franchise tag, Jones would receive about $15 million for the coming season.

Acquired in a trade with New England a year ago, Jones had 11 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 15 tackles for loss last season

Jones has 25 1-2 sacks over the past two seasons, third-most in the NFL over that span.

The Cardinals' move came two days before the NFL deadline for making franchise designations.

It also came on Jones' 27th birthday, prompting teammate David Johnson to tweet "Happy BDay to `The Man,' `Mr. Franchise' himself.....The one and only."

The franchise tag move came as no surprise.

Club President Michael Bidwill has stated all along that Jones would not be going anywhere, that the team didn't make the trade - sending guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round draft pick to New England - to keep him just for one season.

"We're not going to mess around with that," Bidwill said in a recent interview on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. "He's a great pass rusher, but if we can't agree to terms that work for us, we're just going to franchise him, and his people know that."

Jones immediately upgraded what had been an average Cardinals pass rush at best. His fellow outside linebacker Markus Golden had 12 1-2 sacks and seven tackles for loss. Together they form one of the better outside pass rush combinations in the NFL.

By all accounts, the contract talks with Jones have been cordial and Jones has said he wants to stay in Arizona.

"I love it here," he said near the end of last season. "I love the vibe that the people give off and I can see myself being here for a long time."

Chandler heads a long list of free agents that the Cardinals must either re-sign or let go. That group includes starters defensive tackle Calais Campbell, safety Tony Jefferson and inside linebacker Kevin Minter.