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Patriots land in 'surprise' category

In a piece now posted on Foxsports.com, Alex Marvez goes through some of the "winners" and "losers" from the first week of free agency. He puts the Patriots in a more neutral category, calling their moves the biggest surprise in the NFL.

"Who’s joining the Patriots next — Terrell Owens?" Marvez asks. "Ok, Bill Belichick may not be that bold but he did stun the NFL by acquiring two players whose off-field exploits lately have overshadowed on-field production.

"To his credit, Belichick has successfully weaved controversial players like wide receiver Randy Moss and running back Corey Dillon into his team fabric before. Ochocinco and Haynesworth also know they won’t be around long if they don’t buy into Belichick’s team-first philosophy. The bigger question now is whether Haynesworth and Ochocinco are still talented enough to help New England win its first Super Bowl title in seven seasons."

Belichick has thrust both right into the mix at training camp practice, with Haynesworth creating havoc while playing next to Vince Wilfork at defensive tackle on a four-man line, and Ochocinco often paired with Wes Welker and Deion Branch at receiver.