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.

Easley on character concerns: 'It's all rumors' until sources step forward

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Easley on character concerns: 'It's all rumors' until sources step forward

When Dominique Easley was released by the Patriots this spring, it wasn't because he wasn't productive when he was on the field. In fact, on a per-snap basis, he was one of the most productive interior pass-rushers in the league last season, according to Pro Football Focus. 

Instead, there were some off-the-field factors, as well as injury concerns, that led to the Patriots choosing to cut ties with their 2014 first-round pick. 

As our Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran put it, there were "philosophical differences" between Easley and the team.

Other, more scathing reports of Easley's impact in New England were released, including one report from the Boston Globe that included a quote from a former teammate saying he was a "locker room cancer."

Since then, Easley has landed with the Rams and has a chance to contribute to one of the most talented defensive lines in football. In an interview on Sirius XM NFL Radio with Phil Savage and Amber Theoharis, Easley said he hopes that his new team will get to see that he's a better person than some have indicated.

"Just really," Easley said, "just hopefully that the Rams get to see what a great person and a great hardworker I am, and really, just a great person."

Easley went on to say that he's not sure who would speak of him negatively or why. He explained that it's not his "main goal" to prove there's nothing to worry about with his character, but clearly it's somewhere on the list. 

"There's been, obviously, stuff said about me," Easley said. "We don't know where it came from. I would say the person doesn't want to come out and say it, neither. As far as I know, it's all rumors until that person comes out and say that it was from them, and they can prove that they actually know who I am, or been around me long enough to know who I am and how I am as a person."

PFT: NFL plans to interview Manning about Al Jazeera PED allegations

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PFT: NFL plans to interview Manning about Al Jazeera PED allegations

Peyton Manning is retired, but that doesn't mean he's exempt from the interviews that the NFL plans to conduct as it looks into the allegations made by Al Jazeera's December PED documentary. 

It was reported last week by USA Today that the league's senior vice president of labor policy and league affairs Adolpho Birch informed the NFLPA that players named in Al Jazeera's report would be interviewed in July. 

Among those scheduled to be interviewed are Packers linebackers Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews and Steelers linebacker James Harrison. Former Packers linebacker Mike Neal will also be interviewed.

(Harrison has taken issue with the league's request, and said on social media that he would only meet with the league if commissioner Roger Goodell showed up to his home.)

Manning was not mentioned in the letter obtained by USA Today detailing the league's interview plans, but Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk followed up on Monday to see if the NFL intended to speak with Manning. It does.

The former Broncos and Colts quarterback has been very vocal about just how strongly he denies Al Jazeera's claim that his wife, Ashley, received HGH for his use. Despite the fact that he's no longer playing, it will come as no surprise if, given his stance, Manning cooperates fully with the league as it seeks more information regarding the report. 

As Florio points out, if Manning hopes to return to the NFL at some point as an executive -- as many believe he will -- this is something he'll want to put to bed beforehand. That process will start with an interview.