Kellen Winslow looks fondly on time with Patriots

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Kellen Winslow only spent one week with the Patriots last season, but the Jets’ veteran tight end considered it a positive experience.

“It was real good there, just wrong timing,” Winslow said yesterday. “Tom Brady is one of the best I’ve ever seen. The way he leads that team is phenomenal. You understand why they are who they are because of Tom Brady.”

Winslow signed with the Patriots on Sept. 18, three weeks after the Seahawks cut him for refusing to take a pay cut. Winslow had one catch for 12 yards in the Patriots’ 31-30 loss to the Ravens on Sept. 23 and then asked to be released four days later.

“Rob Gronkowski was there, Wes Welker was there, Aaron Hernandez was coming back real soon from injury, and it was just wrong timing,” Winslow said. “Right team, wrong timing. For me, it’s a lot of hard work put into it because of my knee, and it wasn’t worth it with me sitting. It was better for me to just chill out for a year, soak it in and come back next year.”

Winslow’s knee has been problematic since he was in a motorcycle accident in 2005. The injury has prevented him from reaching the potential he possessed when the Browns made him the No. 6 pick in the 2004 draft, but he has been productive throughout his career.

Winslow made the Pro Bowl in 2007 with 82 catches for a career-high 1,106 yards. He signed a six-year, $36 million contract with the Buccaneers in 2009 after they traded for him.

Winslow had 75 catches for 763 yards with the Bucs in 2011 before being traded to the Seahawks. Seattle cut Winslow a week before last season’s opener when he wouldn’t reduce his salary.

“Besides my motorcycle accident, (Seattle) was the toughest part of my career,” Winslow said. “It was unnecessary. That’s just the way they do things over there, I guess. But I’m back, and I’m happy to be back.”

Winslow has found a home with the Jets after impressing the team during a three-day tryout in June. The 30-year-old had a vintage performance in the team’s 18-17 season-opening win against the Buccaneers, catching seven passes for 79 yards and a touchdown.

“I knew I’d be here,” Winslow said. “This is expected of me, and I have a lot more to go. I haven’t really done anything yet. It’s one game and I have a long way to go.”

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