This is not a million-dollar question. It is a 100 million-dollar question. There are many factors in considering how Albert Haynesworth would fit in with the Oakland Raiders. Some of these factors are: current roster, money, personality, and production. Allow me to explain.
Current Roster: Looking at the Raiders roster, there is a glaring weakness: defensive tackle. In a 4-3 defense, the Raiders use 2 DTs.
Right now, the Raiders have only one above-average tackle and a competition between some no-names for the other spot. The above-average tackle is Tommy Kelly and the no-names are second year Desmond Bryant, free agents William Joseph and Ryan Boschetti, and second round pick Lamar Houston.
You may not agree with me putting Houston in the no-name category, but as he is yet to play in a game, he is unproven. Also, Houston is being tried out at defensive end so he may not be in the mix for the second tackle spot.
Richard Seymour could be moved inside; the Raiders did this with Howie Long many years ago. But with Seymour absent from the OTAs, he isn’t getting a chance to try the switch and he may not get that chance until a new contract is signed, which could take a long time.
Money: Speaking of Richard Seymour, the Raiders don’t have much money. Forbes magazine has the Raiders ranked as the poorest franchise in football, at $800 million.
The Raiders saved six million this season by cutting JaMarcus Russell. The Raiders also released guys like Justin Fargas, Javon Walker, and Greg Ellis, which can save money.
But the Raiders still have to spend. Rolando McClain will likely have a high salary, especially since he is expected to start.
The Raiders are poised to give Seymour $12 million this season if a contract isn’t agreed to with the franchise tag. Nnamdi Asomugha is the highest-paid defensive back in the NFL and Darren McFadden and Darrius Heyward-Bey are on their large first-round salaries as well.
Haynesworth was persuaded to become a Washington Redskin by a $100 million contract.
The Raiders don’t have that kind of money. Plus, after how much Washington invested in Haynesworth, the trade demands would be high.
Personality: Haynesworth has made few friends since leaving the Titans and is now holding out from the Redskins. Even making the amount of money he does, he is still complaining about his team.
That doesn’t sound like the type of guy I want on my team.
Tom Cable has worked hard to rid the Raiders of the players who “were just there for a paycheck and not to win games.” I’m not saying Haynesworth doesn’t care about winning, but it seems like he is more greedy than a team player.
I don’t see him fitting in with the Raiders under Cable.
Production: He is an eight year veteran, but he played one full season—his rookie year in 2002, with the Titans. After recording 51 tackles with 8.5 sacks in 2008 with the Titans, he left for Washington, where he made 37 tackles with four sacks in 12 games.
That is a noticeable decline. And since Haynesworth played in Washington, the defense had a good amount of time on the field. Production is going down and age is going up; never a good sign.
After viewing these factors, it is clear that the Raiders should resist pursuing Haynesworth. The Raiders learned their lesson the hard way in 2008. Big name free agents are not the best way to build a team. Washington should have learned from this mess.
Haynesworth is abandoning the team he just signed with a year ago. He is no more than just an intimidating presence because of his time with the Titans, although he can likely still do some damage if he participates with his team at workouts.
He is not worth the money he wants and the Raiders are better off with other options at defensive tackle.