During the offseason, the New England Patriots traded Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals, which put them on the market for a pass rusher. Last week, the team traded a fifth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft to the Cleveland Browns to acquire Barkevious Mingo in hopes that he will be able to provide the same type of pass rush Jones did. Even though quarterback Tom Brady will miss the first four games of the season while serving a suspension, the Patriots have the best NFL odds of winning the Super Bowl.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been known to pull of trades like the one he did for Mingo in the past. The coach has been successful in acquiring players that teams no longer want and turning them into important pieces on his team.
Belichick successfully acquired future Hall of Famer Randy Moss from the Oakland Raiders after a couple of mediocre seasons in Oakland. Moss went on to have a significant impact on the Patriots offense and helped the team get to the Super Bowl.
In 2014, the Patriots acquired Akeem Ayers from the Tennessee Titans after the former second-round pick of the Titans was relegated to bench duty mostly. Ayers ended up becoming a big part of New England’s defense.
The Patriots also signed safety Patrick Chung in 2014. Chung was considered a bust in Philadelphia, but the Patriots brought him back to New England, where he played from 2009 to 2012, and he too is an instrumental piece of the team’s defense today.
While the Patriots have had success turning the careers of players that their previous teams didn’t think much of around, it hasn’t always worked out for Belichick and his crew.
The Patriots signed Albert Haynesworth, who was let go by the Washington Redskins after signing a $100 million contract. After failing in DC, the Patriots signed Haynesworth in hopes of getting his career back on track, but the defensive lineman could not stay in shape and was eventually released by the team.
Chad Johnson was another player the Patriots thought they could bring in and get immediate contribution for. The wide receiver had just come off an 800-yard season with the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Patriots were in need of a veteran receiver, so the union made sense for both sides.
However, Johnson had problems with the Patriots playbook and didn’t live up to the expectations in his lone season in New England.
In Mingo’s case, there are no guarantees that things will work out for him with the Patriots after failing to meet expectations in Cleveland. However, sometimes, a change of scenery is a good thing, especially if you have been losing a lot since you got in the league.
Mingo will be held accountable in New England, and the coaches will try their best to use him in a way that maximizes his skills. If Mingo can put some pressure on the opposing quarterbacks and help the team win games, the Patriots will likely sign him to a contract extension that will keep him in New England for a very long time. If he doesn’t make a significant impact, he will likely be playing for another team next season.
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