The big news in Patriots country Tuesday is ESPNBoston.com's report of New England releasing former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. He was acquired in a trade this offseason with the Washington Redskins in hopes of helping New England transition to a 4-3 defense.
Here are several thoughts on the move:
Haynesworth's release isn't all that surprising. He has been in and out of the lineup all season and drastically underperformed. This also can be viewed as par for the course with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who is not afraid to make an example out of someone when his team is struggling. This time he made an example out of Haynesworth, which should get the team's attention. The Patriots are in danger of suffering their first three-game losing streak since 2002.
Haynesworth is a big name but didn't cost the Patriots much. New England gave Washington a fifth-round pick for Haynesworth. The Redskins also paid all of Haynesworth's big bonuses up front. So, New England is only on the hook for this year's $1.5 million salary.
This also should serve as a wake-up call for receiver Chad Ochocinco. He was the other big name acquired in a trade by the Patriots this offseason. Like Haynesworth, Ochocinco has produced little in New England and is having trouble adjusting to the Patriot way. With recent examples like Haynesworth and cornerback Leigh Bodden, Belichick has proved no one is above being let go in New England. This should grab Ochocinco's attention.