After spending almost the entire weekend on the road, I return to find the web buzzing about a quote from Dan Pompei’s “Sunday Blitz” article from National Football Post in regards to Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth not making it to the regular season. The reason? Bill Belichick wants to “send a message” to his locker room. I kid you not. Here’s the quote from Pompei’s article:
Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth might not be long for New England. One day before this story came out by my guy Mike Reiss, 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.
This is sheer stupidity. I haven’t heard anything this dumb since some idiot posted on an NFL.com message board that Tom Brady isn’t a lock for the Hall of Fame. I don’t fault Pompei here. I’m sure that is what he heard from a legitimate NFL executive. However, that executive must’ve been suffering whiplash from the free-agent whirlwind of the past few weeks. This is preposterous.
There is no way that Belichick would waste draft picks, the ones that he covets and stockpiles every NFL draft, to “send a message” to a locker room that doesn’t need to have a message sent. There’s no doubt that Belichick reigns supreme in New England, and no message needs sending. On top of that, Chad Ochocinco has been working his butt off in camp and received $5 million upfront, so he’s not going anywhere.
Albert Haynesworth has practiced sparingly but when he was in there, he dominated. If onlookers could see it, you know that Belichick saw it. Now, if he feels that Haynesworth is either dogging an injury or that injury won’t allow him to be ready for the season, he may release him. But release him to “send a message?” I don’t think so. Barring some unforeseen incident, expect to see both players on the roster at the start of the regular season.