Here are the 5 most hated Patriots of the Belichick era

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Cassius Marsh claims he’s one of the most hated former Patriots.

Too bad he didn’t play here for long enough to actually matter.

Earlier this week, Marsh once again lambasted the “Patriots Way,” bemoaning Bill Belichick’s austerity and apparent antipathy towards lunch breaks. These criticisms from the peanut gallery are definitely annoying, but since Marsh only played nine games for the 2017 Patriots, it’s hard to take him seriously.

The journeyman does raise an interesting question, however: Who are the most hated Patriots of the Belichick era? There aren’t many players to choose from, considering the incredible success the team has experienced over the last 20 years.

But there are more than enough to populate a top-five list. With some help from my fellow dotcominators, here are the five most hated Patriots, according to me:

(Author’s note: Aaron Hernandez is exempt from this list, because we’re keeping it to on-field stuff.)

Adalius Thomas

The two-time Pro Bowler is the biggest free agent bust of the Belichick era. At the time, Thomas was the highest-priced free-agent acquisition in franchise history, signing a five-year, $33.5 million deal in 2007. His debut season was actually OK: Thomas logged 79 tackles and 6.5 sacks during New England’s 16-0 campaign. But his performance torpedoed from there.

The following season, Thomas suffered a season-ending arm injury in Week 10, and spent most of his time in 2009 publicly feuding with Belichick. His nadir came prior to the team’s Week 14 matchup against the Panthers, when he was one of four players sent home as a result of being late for a morning meeting in snowy weather.

He was also infamously deactivated for a midseason game against the Titans.

When Thomas left, he blamed Belichick for using him poorly. “I definitely didn’t have fun,” he said in a 2010 radio interview. “I want to come somewhere where I’m wanted and where I’m going to have fun. That’s where I want to be.”

Thomas’ NFL career ended after the Patriots had released him in April 2010. Here’s hoping another high-priced Ravens pass-rusher, Matthew Judon, doesn’t follow in Thomas’ underachieving footsteps.

Albert Haynesworth

It took just one day for the ill-fated Albert Haynesworth experiment to become a disaster. The Patriots acquired the troubled, yet talented defensive lineman on the cheap, only sending over a 2013 fifth-round pick to Washington for his services in July 2011.

The acquisition was announced on a Friday, but Haynesworth was absent from practice the following day, prompting speculation that he failed his conditioning test. Then, he wasn’t seen from Aug. 4 through Aug. 21.

As it turns out, Haynesworth only played in six games for the 2011 Patriots, tallying just three tackles. The Patriots released him in November following a sideline argument with revered defensive assistant coach Pepper Johnson.

Aside from his weight issues, Haynesworth came to Foxboro with a loathsome resume. He was disciplined multiple times for unnecessary hits and once left a driver paralyzed after a car accident. Oh, and the big man was also indicted for sexual assault. Good guy.

Chad Jackson

There are several young receivers who have failed to deliver in New England: Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, Bethel Johnson, and most recently, N’Keal Harry. But Chad Jackson takes home the honors for being the most infamous failure.

Selected in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft, Jackson missed the preseason with a hamstring injury and was never healthy for his rookie campaign. His final act came when he tore his ACL in the AFC Championship, prompting him to miss the start of the 2007 season, where he only appeared in two games.

The Patriots released Jackson during the 2008 preseason. He caught just 14 passes in his woeful NFL career.

Jordan Richards

Close your eyes, and you can probably still see Corey Clements dusting Jordan Richards for a 55-yard catch-and-run late in the first half of Super Bowl LII, setting up the infamous Philly Special.

Richards was constantly on the field that night, because Belichick inexplicably benched Malcolm Butler. The result was porous pass defense that helped cost New England the Super Bowl.

A second-round pick, Richards is one of multiple failed Belichick draft selections in the defensive backfield, joining Ras-I Dowling, Tavon Wilson and Cyrus Jones. But he’s the only one to blow coverage in the Super Bowl. That’s why he belongs on this list.

The “One Bad Play” club

Admittedly, this is a bit of a copout, but there are three former Patriots who are candidates for this list due to One Bad Play.

The first player is Reche Caldwell, whose dropped passes in the 2006 AFC Championship are the only memorable moments from his lone season in New England. The worst one came midway through the fourth quarter, when he dropped a would-be touchdown.

Wes Welker is in consideration for the same reason: A horrible drop. He dropped a perfect downfield pass from Brady late in Super Bowl XLVI, prompting Gisele Bundchen to proclaim her husband cannot “f--- catch and throw the ball at the same time.”

It was one of several missed opportunities for the Patriots in their two gut-wrenching Super Bowl losses to the Giants. Asante Samuel missed a crucial interception towards the end of Super Bowl XLII, setting up the infamous "Tyree catch."

Speaking of which, David Tyree and Mario Manningham are probably more responsible for those losses than anybody on the Patriots, but who said hate is rational?

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