Earlier on Wednesday the Tampa Bay Buccaneers parted ways with defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.
"I appreciate Albert playing for us after some key injuries this past season," said Bucs GM Mark Dominik in a statement from the team. "He was very professional and we now wish him all the best as he moves forward."
The only good news for this from Haynesworth's viewpoint has to be that it ended well, because for years he has been rightfully scrutinized for lack of effort, attitude and not being a team player.
From 2002 through 2008, Haynesworth was a productive defensive tackle in Jeff Fisher's 4-3 front. There, he averaged 38 tackles a season (totaled 91 in 2007 and 2008) while earning two Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections in '07 and '08.
Unfortunately, he also had the extra baggage factor because of an ugly stomping incident against the Dallas Cowboys. Haynesworth's game after that was never the same.
Signing with the Washington Redskins for 2009, Haynesworth to be frank, was a rich man (understatement of the decade).
However, despite the big contract and a fresh start in our nation's capital, Haynesworth added another dimension to his baggage, which involved the unwillingness to be a team player. Unlike the Tennessee Titans' 4-3 front, the Redskins ran a 3-4 front.
This then allowed outside linebacker Brian Orakpo a better jump off the snap to apply quarterback pressure while London Fletcher controlled the middle.
Well, Haynesworth wasn't too fond of playing a nose tackle but still recorded four sacks, 37 tackles and had five passes defended in 12 games played. All things considered and excluding his contract, this wasn't that bad of a season.
Then 2010 happened and Haynesworth hit a new low.
There, he only played in eight games, had career lows across the board and even gave up on a play against the Philadelphia Eagles all together.
So, before the 2011 season began, Haynesworth was with the New England Patriots and surely "The Patriot Way" would change him right? Either that or Haynesworth would be gone sooner than later.
Fortunately for New England, the latter happened because Haynesworth clearly wasn't working out even for depth purposes. Now, he did finish 2011 off well in Tampa with 18 tackles, one blocked kick and two passes defended in just seven games.
And it's clear that when in the proper system, Haynesworth can be a decent contributor. However, he's lacked emotion, has had trouble adapting and the attitude history remains a concern.
This would be a completely different situation if Haynesworth had just accepted the role as a 3-4 nose tackle with the Redskins.
But, because he didn't want to adjust and be a team player, Haynesworth continues to move around the league and won't find a comfortable place until he learns how to become a complete player.
John Rozum on Twitter.
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