Just hours into NFL free agency, the Washington Redskins signed All-Pro defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to a seven-year contract worth about $100 million. The deal includes an NFL-record $41 million in guaranteed money.
When it’s all said and done, that will probably work out to around $10 million dollars a face-stomp.
Haynesworth is an outstanding tackle but the Redskins greatly overpaid for his services. Not only that, but the 6'6", 320-pounder comes with a less-than-positive reputation.
The former Tennessee Titan hasn’t played a full season since his rookie year, he’s known to take plays off and he has problems managing his anger.
For instance, Haynesworth was suspended five games—a NFL record for in-game misconduct—in 2006 for rubbing his cleats over Dallas Cowboys’ center Andre Gurode’s face.
Last year the Redskins finished the year with the fourth-ranked defense and allowed the 6th fewest points in the NFL. Those numbers are even more impressive if you consider the Redskins played six games against teams with top 10 ranked offenses.
However, the Redskins had the 19th-ranked offense and the 23rd-worst passing attack. The Redskins scored fewer points than the Detroit Lions and completed only 35% of their 3rd downs.
Therefore, signing Haynesworth doesn’t make the Redskins exponentially better it just bolsters one of their strengths.
So what exactly is Haynesworth going to bring to the ballclub? Is he going to make it difficult for opponents to run out the clock late in the fourth quarter as they lead the Redskins, 24-10?
One critic said Haynesworth makes everyone around him better. Hopefully the Redskins surround him with their offense because that’s what they need to improve.
I also heard a sports writer claim Haynesworth’s signing is a great marketing ploy to get fans talking about the Redskins.
Fine, then here you go:
“Hey Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, here’s another article written about your team and their glamorous off season moves. How the hype is going to win you a Super Bowl, much less a playoff game is beyond me, but congratulations, you’re being talked about!”
Haynesworth is a great player and he will keep the Redskins’ defense near the top of the rankings, but he’s not the best signing, dollar-for-dollar, made on the first day of NFL free agency.
The best signing was the New England Patriots acquiring Fred Taylor. Yes, the 11-year veteran is a 33-year-old running back (ancient by NFL standards), but the Patriots got him for cheap and they will maximize his experience and talents to the fullest.
There will be at least one game in 2009 where Taylor carries the ball 25 times and leads the Pats to victory. Granted, Taylor won’t rush for a 1,000 yards or score 10 touchdowns, but the running back will be worth every penny of his contract.
The same cannot be said of Haynesworth.