The New England Patriots concluded a busy day of activity by reportedly landing former Cincinnati Bengal and diva receiver supreme Chad Ochocinco through a trade on Thursday for two draft picks in 2012 and 2013.
He arrives to New England after a tough pair of seasons to close out his Bengals career, which led to him challenging Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis to a steel cage match.
While the move appears to be slightly unorthodox on the surface based off of Ochocinco’s spotty history, it makes plenty of football sense.
Even though his numbers dipped last season, his 867 receiving yards in 2010 was more than any Patriots receiver last season.
Ochocinco respects Belichick and could easily be a nice addition to the Patriot passing attack instead of the derisive, chatty, and disruptive force that he was at times in Cincinnati.
Meanwhile, Thursday morning began with the Patriots acquiring another disgruntled star; defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth from the Washington Redskins for a fifth round pick.
Of course, when asked about the Haynesworth move, Belichick stated that New England spoke with Washington but things had not been finalized.
Like the Ochocinco move, this too appears to be somewhat odd. Haynesworth openly complained about playing in Washington’s 3-4 alignment, which is what New England uses as its primary defensive front.
However, the Patriots use multiple fronts including a 4-3, the defensive setup where Haynesworth flourished under in Tennessee.
Both transactions provide different challenges.
Haynesworth will have to shed his image of being lazy and physically unfit to play; while Ochocinco’s declining skills and boisterous mouth will be under a weekly microscope.
This isn’t Belichick’s first rodeo with troubled NFL stars. Belichick gambled in 2004 when he acquired Corey Dillon. He did it again in 2007 when he picked up a seemingly finished Randy Moss.
Dillon led the Patriots to their second consecutive Super Bowl; while Moss helped New England complete a 16-0 regular season and reach Super Bowl XLII.
If Belichick is right again, New England could land back in the Super Bowl.