Farewell Mr. Maroney

Five years ago the New England Patriots drafted Laurence Maroney in the first round in hopes that he would be the perfect compliment to Tom Brady.  Five years ago the Patriots thought they had a steal in the draft and were excited about Maroney after the sensational career he had at the University of Minnesota.  Flash forward to the present and the Patriots have realized they drafted the wrong running back out of Minnesota, that they meant to say “Marion Barber.”  Earlier this afternoon the Patriots sent Maroney and a sixth round pick to the Denver Broncos for a fourth round pick.

The proverbial change of scenery may just be what the doctor ordered for Maroney.  Every season Maroney would have one or two games where he would show flashes or brilliance and have Patriot Nation thinking he was ready for a breakthrough.  But for every good game he had, he would go delve into irrelevance for the next eight games.  The problem with Maroney is that he doesn’t hit holes hard (that’s what she said).  He loves to dance behind the line and before he knows it a potential 4 yard gain is a two yard loss.  He is the Patriot version of Daisuke Matsuzaka.  Both are easily the most frustrating players to watch on their teams, because you know the talent is there, but they refuse to use it.

I always felt there was too much pressure put on Maroney in New England.  Anytime a skill position player is taken in the first round, the fan base expects much of them.  Perhaps too much.  I honestly believe that the pressure of living up to expectations got to Maroney and he was never able to recover from being overwhelmed with those very expectations.  Denver may well be a good fit for Maroney as he will be reunited with former offensive coordinator now head coach Josh McDaniels.  Knowshon Moreno is battling a nagging injury and Correll Buckhalter is 32 years old which is the equivalent of a senior citizen for an NFL running back.  I don’t expect Maroney to put up out of this world numbers, but I don’t expect him to suck either.  A trade is what he needed and he will benefit from that.

From the Patriot standpoint, the writing was on the wall that Laurence wasn’t coming back next year.  They decided to call a bust a bust and get whatever value they could muster out of him.  After a poor preseason showing with limited touches, it became apparent Maroney was expendable. Yes, Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris do have health issues.  Just look at their past.  But both played great on Sunday. Taylor will be the feature back, Morris the full back, and the “law firm” of BenJarvis GreenEllis will be the back up to Taylor.  Green-Ellis holds more value over Maroney because he can play on special teams.  Kevin Faulk is entrenched as the 3rd down back.  There was no room for Maroney at all on this roster.  Give the Patriots credit for getting something of value while offering someone that was of no use to them.

I never had a problem with Maroney while he was here.  He just didn’t live up to lofty expectations put upon him. It was time for him to go and I am fine with that.  Just don’t be surprised if the change of scenery benefits him.  It is my hope that the Pats can utilize money they saved by trading him and use the fourth pick for a valuable asset that can help the team.  Because Maroney didn’t.

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