New England Patriots Sign Tiquan Underwood: What Can He Bring in 2012?

Erik FrenzSenior Writer IFebruary 7, 2012

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 18: Wide receiver Tiquan Underwood #10 of the New England Patriots laughs after his team scores against the Denver Broncos in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The New England Patriots won, 41-23. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Patriots were painted as heartless puppy-kickers after they cut Tiquan Underwood just a day before Super Bowl XLVI. Turns out, it was just a business decision after all. 

According to Ian Rapoport of The Boston Herald, they re-signed Underwood on Tuesday, less than three days later.

Go figure. The Patriots doing what they think is best for the football team? They never do that.

And what do you know? His release had absolutely nothing to do with the final outcome—does anyone really think that Underwood stood a better shot of catching that Hail Mary than anyone in the end zone at the time?

Going forward, big picture, the move doesn't really mean anything. The young receiver is familiar in the system, so that's a plus, but he will be competing for a roster spot like every other player in training camp.

The Patriots have badly wanted depth at receiver for quite some time, and he would be doing the Patriots a lot of favors if he could step up big time and prove himself to be a legitimate target.

With quarterback Tom Brady throwing him the ball, anything is possible—that is, unless Brady throws him balls like the one he threw in the end zone against the Redskins. But with 11 career receptions for 143 yards, don't be surprised if that doesn't happen for Underwood.

One way he could earn himself a roster spot, as is usually the case with the Patriots, is to work his way up through special teams duty. He didn't return any kicks or punts in 2011, but he has some experience doing it in Jacksonville.

Expanding his horizons may be the key for him to make sure he doesn't experience the feeling he felt on Super Bowl Saturday again in 2012.


Erik Frenz is the co-host of the PatsPropaganda and Frenz podcast. Follow Erik on Twitter.