The Patriots have been busy this offseason. Whether it's been locking up — not locking out — their own players or acquiring fresh faces, Bill Belichick looks like he's willing to do whatever it takes to get the Pats back to the Super Bowl.
Whenever you have a quarterback like Tom Brady, a solid offensive line is pertinent to the team's success. Not only does it help ensure that Brady has the time necessary to pick apart a defense, but it also helps to protect him from any potential injuries.
Logan Mankins and Matt Light have been two staples in the Pats' O-line in recent years, but the team was in danger of losing both players. Fortunately, the Pats were able to sign both to contract extensions this offseason.
The Patriots signed Light to a two-year, $12 million deal — which includes $7 million guaranteed. On Wednesday, they locked up Mankins with a six-year extension.
But while the Pats have been busy making sure their offensive line is in tact, they haven't forgotten about the D-line. After all, winning the battle in the trenches is important on both sides of the ball.
The Pats have signed defensive linemen Albert Haynesworth and Shaun Ellis.
Haynesworth arrives in New England after a tumultuous tenure in Washington. But if he regains his Pro-Bowl form, he could become a key component of the Patriots' defense this season. It was only three years ago that he was named a First-Team All-Pro and was considered one of the best — if not, the best — defensive lineman in the game.
Ellis, meanwhile, will be playing with a chip on his shoulder this season after leaving the Jets in favor of New England. He said that he felt like the Patriots give him the best chance to win the Super Bowl and looks poised to take on whatever role Belichick gives him.
Then, of course, there's Chad Ochocinco.
The six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver has become more known for his flair than his play on the field the past few seasons. But there's no denying the talent that he posesses.
We'll have to wait and see what kind of rapport Ochocinco can build with Brady, but it should be a fun ride regardless of his statistical output.
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