Can Tim Tebow thrive in New England? Recent history shows not all projects turn to gold for Patriots

CLEVELAND - When it comes to the New England Patriots, it's easy to forget mistakes.

That's the case when you have the success they have had over the course of the past decade.

Yes, the Patriots drafted Tom Brady in the sixth round, one of the biggest steals ever, and have found productive roles for players, like Danny Woodhead, who were rejected by other teams. However, with Monday's signing of Tim Tebow it's important to remember that the Patriots have had their fair share of big-name blunders through the years too.

Look no further than the acquisition of Chad 'Ochocinco' Johnson in the summer of 2011. Belichick and the Pats traded a couple of late-round draft picks for the former Bengals star hoping to recapture the magic of his Pro Bowl past, much like they had with a beleaguered Randy Moss.

But Ochocinco didn't work out in the record-setting way Moss did - or at all. Ochocinco, who was 34 years old at the time, reportedly had trouble picking up the Patriots' playbook and was released after catching only 15 passes for 276 yards and a touchdown in one season with the team.

No reclamation project there. 

The receiver formerly known as Ochocinco wasn't the only high-profile bust. 

That same offseason, the Patriots traded a fifth-round pick to the Redskins for defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth. The former Pro Bowler struggled and was released following Week 9 of the 2011 season.

Adalius Thomas had a strong first season in New England after signing a five-year, $35 million contract in 2007. From there though it only went downhill. In Thomas' final season before being released in 2010, he was benched for an October game and sent home after arriving late to a team meeting on a snowy December day. 

The signing of veteran wide receiver Joey Galloway in 2009 also turned out to be a misstep. Galloway played in just three games with the team before being released in October of that season. 

Yet among some there's a notion that Tim Tebow has to have success because Patriot Pat will be on his hat.

Mike Greenberg tweeted: "Tim Tebow will be on Patriots roster all season. They didn't do this for fun. They did it because, somewhere down the line, he will help."

Adam Schein wrote in a March column that Tebow would "fit right in and ride it to a championship" in New England.

This denies the fact that not everything works out in the Patriots' favor. 

Sure, a lot does. There's no denying Belichick, Brady and the legacy they have built. The three Super Bowl rings speak for themselves.

Belichick, however, is not King Midas. Not every player he gets his hands on turns into a star or reclaims past glory. 

Tebow may well find a niche in New England. There's not much space to go down from where he plateaued in his time with Jets. If you believe in bad karma for the Jets (which may not be that off base), then Tebow may well end up in the end zone in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium, where he rarely saw action last season. 

But to assert that Tebow is more right now than an inaccurate passer with an uncanny pension for late-game magic is creating false hype. Putting on a Patriots uniform will not alone lead to football salvation.

Print this article Back to Top