With all the hubbub surrounding the departure of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to the Washington Redskins, I thought it might be fun to follow his performance this year, just to see what we might be missing here in good ol' Nashville, Tenn.
From the look on his face above, I'd say we dodged a bullet.
I truly didn't watch football much at all in the pre-season; I don't put much stock in it because the level of competition just isn't there. It serves a purpose, but for the most part it is all one big dress rehearsal for the big show.
Just for fun, I decided to check out Haynesworth's stats from those four games to see if there was anything there. And as I suspected, there wasn't much to go on: three games, one tackle, no sacks.
As luck would have it, I found myself free to watch everyone else play this Sunday, since the Titans had already made their 2009 debut on Thursday. Also as luck would have it, the Redskins-Giants game was on in my market.
Now I would have a chance to see what kind of deal Washington REALLY got; it is widely suspected that free agents typically turn the wick up in the last year of their contracts to garner higher money offers for their next term of service.
Looks like Washington might have gotten taken in by this very bait-and-switch scheme.
While Haynesworth managed to haul in four solo tackles (how could he not? He's frigging huge, for crying out loud), his influence on the game looked suspect to me.
Quite often, I saw Haynesworth being taken completely out of the play, often ending up on his back(side).
No huge push to collapse the passing pocket.
No real disruptions of the running lanes in the backfield.
Eli Manning (yes, I know, Super Bowl-winning quarterback Eli Manning) was able to get 256 yards through the air, a respectable, if not stellar, performance.
Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs were able to combine for 106 yards, with Bradshaw managing a tidy five yards per carry.
Manning only hit the turf once, which means if any of you want to argue that Haynesworth was double-teamed all night, thus negatively affecting his stats, I'm not buying it: if that were the case, at least ONE of his teammates should have been able to get free and into the backfield.
And they didn't, so the double-team argument doesn't wash.
Oh, and the Giants won 23-17.
From the looks of things, it sound plausible that the 'Skins might want to start thinking about the seven-year, $100 million contract they tendered him this past off-season. His performance so far leaves a lot to be desired.
He's already had to have an injection in his knee, the same one he injured last year near the end of the regular season.
Not to mention that in his career, the most games he has been able to start in a season was 14, two shy of a full season.
What happens if the last two games of the season will determine whether the Redskins make it to the playoffs, and his presence is critical in the middle?
What happens if he can't go?
How good is that $100 million looking now, Washington?
I could be a bit premature. It is, after all, only week one, and he may be a bit rusty from the lack of action in the preseason. So he may just be getting his considerable legs under him, and next week could be a whole different story.
But I don't buy it. The performance I saw today was the same type of performance he displayed in his first four years in Tennessee.
Only in the last two did he display the type of performance that made him both a Pro Bowler and an attractive free agent acquisition.
Now that he's got a guaranteed paycheck, however, expect his performance to drop drastically. I would even expect him to miss at least four games for one reason or another.
So, well done, Washington. Here in Tennessee, we're glad we got what we could out of him, but now he's your problem.
And a very expensive problem indeed.