Albert Haynesworth Says He Almost Died Due to Brain Aneurysms

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2016

Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth walks off the field during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in Landover, Md., Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/Associated Press

Former NFL defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth revealed in a Thursday interview that he suffered nearly fatal brain aneurysms last year.

Haynesworth opened up with 104.5 The Zone while attending the Ohio Valley Conference women's basketball tournament in Nashville, Tennessee (via's Paul Kuharsky).

"Nobody really knows, I almost died," he said. "I had two brain aneurysms that were nearly rupturing. I went and talked to my doctor in Florida, and he was like, 'Man, your blood pressure is through the roof. I'm going to admit you.' They did a lot of tests and found the aneurysm that was rupturing at that point."

Haynesworth was one of the best defensive tackles in the league in his prime, earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2007 and 2008. Then, he signed a seven-year, $100 million deal with the Washington Redskins in February 2009 and never again reached the same heights he experienced with the Tennessee Titans.

Frederick Breedon/Associated Press

In a 2015 letter to his younger self he wrote on the Players' Tribune, Haynesworth blamed former head coach Mike Shanahan, who he claimed demanded he "eat up space" and "grab the center and let the linebackers run free." He has since become a cautionary tale for any team considering signing a marquee interior defensive lineman in free agency.

Since his career ended, the 34-year-old admitted he has difficulty completing simple tasks.

"It sounds crazy, but sometimes, writing my own name, I kind of forget the signature of how I normally write," Haynesworth said, per Kuharsky. "Or sending long texts, my words get backwards. It's crazy, but hopefully as time goes on, I get better."

The Titans selected Haynesworth 15th overall in the 2002 draft, and he went on to play until 2011. He didn't blame his health issues solely on football, but he didn't dismiss the notion: "I don't want to blame it on football, and I don't want to say, 'Hey, it didn't have anything to do with it.'"