Ochocinco, Haynesworth rumored as possible cuts

191543.jpg

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.

Collins gets his pay day as Patriots prepare for Super Bowl

browns-collins-jamie-collins-012017x.jpg

Collins gets his pay day as Patriots prepare for Super Bowl

NFL Siberia can’t be all that bad. The Cleveland Browns have signed Jamie Collins to an extension that keeps him off the free agent market.

The former Patriot, stunningly shipped out of town on Halloween, has agreed to a reported four-year, $50 million deal with $26M in guaranteed money.

As eyebrow-raising as the move was at the time, this is an all’s well that ends well story.

Collins, a reluctant Patriot once it came clear the team wouldn’t to aim a confetti cannon of money at him, gets the desired big-dough deal. He didn’t drape himself in glory with his level of play this year in New England, but his agitation over making $900K this year was understandable.

The Patriots -- who made the deal not knowing exactly how it would work out with Collins’ fleet of replacements (primarily rookie Elandon Roberts and, October acquisition Kyle Van Noy) -- have played better defense since Collins has been gone and are headed to the Super Bowl.

Would they have been better if Collins stayed? The answer to that is a question: Which version of Collins, the irked one or the motivated one?

Collins did nothing to veil his desire for a huge contract, saying at the end of the season he’d stay with the hapless Browns if the money was right. Now that he’s decided the money was right, what kind of Collins will the Browns get? With $26M guaranteed, the Browns have tethered themselves to the 27-year-old Collins for a chunk of his prime. The shorter term is ideal for Collins because -- if he performs to his capability -- he’ll be able to see another lucrative deal before he’s too aged.

The deal will certainly be noticed by Collins’ former teammates, primarily Donta Hightower who will be a free agent at the end of the season.

The Patriots could franchise Hightower (last year’s tag number was more than $14M) but that’s not going to be ideal for either side. Hightower will want to get the windfall of guaranteed money that comes with a long-term deal and the Patriots may be reluctant to pay that much to a player that’s got an injury history and plays one of the game’s most violent positions.

A lot’s going to happen between now and the time the Patriots have to make their decision. A good deal of it will happen in the next 12 days. If Hightower stealthily saves the Super Bowl as he did in 2014 with his first-down tackle on Marshawn Lynch … how do you put a price on that?