Wait 'Til We Get Our Haynes on You: Finding Albert Haynesworth Suitors
In 2007 and 2008, Albert Haynesworth was a hands down All-Pro and Pro Bowl defensive tackle. In fact, just about everyone in the league considered him the most dominant at his position.
In that time he averaged about seven sacks and 36 tackles, as well as an equally impressive three fumble recoveries in 2008. But my how the mighty have fallen.
Ever since Haynesworth was traded and signed a blockbuster contract with the Redskins in 2009, things have been going downhill.
In 2009, the feared DT accumulated just four sacks and 27 tackles, a significant drop off from what fans and players alike had come to expect from the Tennessee product.
This sub par production was anything but what the Redskins needed after giving the big man a seven year, $100 million contract, with $41 million guaranteed.
Neither Haynesworth nor the Skins could take solace in a successful season either, as Washington finished an abysmal 4-12.
Haynesworth has openly criticized the 3-4 scheme and defensive coordinator Greg Blanche, and is asking for a trade after missing voluntary OTAs and now a couple mandatory mini-camp sessions.
In return, Washington is in the process of trying to get back the $21 million bonus given to Haynesworth about three months ago.
As it stands, this could be the worst trade the Redskins have ever endured ever since Dan Snyder was pining for Deion Sanders.
While a lot of this is well known all ready, the question that comes to mind now is should the Redskins give in to Haynesworth’s demands, would he even have create an interest at this point?
Odds are, the answer is yes, as there is always at least one coach in the league willing to give second, or maybe even third or fourth chances.
Let us take a look and see if there are really any matches out there for Big Al if the Redskins do decide to put him on the market.
This one is a no brainer right? Al Davis will give any player who has produced in the past a chance on his team, so that should settle it.
Actually, the one position one can be sure the Raiders are not shopping for is a defensive tackle. The Raiders recently acquired DT John Henderson after he was cut from the Jaguars.
While no contract details are currently available, it is just about certain that Henderson would come at a cheaper price than what Haynesworth would.
Furthermore, they are the same age, as they are both from the 2002 draft class, so Haynesworth has no upper hand there.
While Henderson has never had a season with more than 6.5 sacks, he has proven to be very effective against the run and extremely durable, especially for a DT.
From 2002-2007, Henderson played in 82 consecutive games with 78 starts. Haynesworth has not made it through a full season injury free since his rookie year.
While Haynesworth may have overall better career stats at this point, the Raiders are happy with what they have and would certainly not shell out Haynesworth type money just for added depth on the roster.
In the NFL, Cincinnati has become the land of second chances for shunned players, especially after they picked up Pacman Jones in the spring.
Cincinnati’s defense is known for their ball-hawking cornerbacks Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph, but could they use a behemoth up front to make some noise? Well, not really.
They all ready have Domata Peko and Tank Johnson, at one point considered an NFL reject in his own right.
While Peko may not bring the same defensive presence that Haynesworth brought in his prime, he is pretty consistent, registering 31 tackles in just 11 games last season.
He is also a team captain and essentially a model citizen, so there is no reason to expect him to lose his starting job.
Meanwhile, Johnson got more time than expected in 2009, as Peko battled a knee injury all season until he finally decided to get surgery after week 11.
Johnson actually did a decent job with 29 tackles and two sacks. With this being said, it looks like second chance land has reached full capacity for defensive tackles.
The Seattle Seahawks have been one of the hungriest teams this offseason, adding prominent names such as Golden Tate, Leon Washington, and Russell Okung to their roster.
The Seahawks currently have the vibe of the Raiders in the sense that they will grab anyone who has put up stats in the past. However, there is actually a believeable chance that the Seahawks can achieve success with their current roster.
Seattle’s defense was atrocious last season, honestly, with no real play-makers to speak of.
Haynesworth would replace starter Colin Cole, who had a respectable 29 tackles in ’09, but really nothing else to speak of.
Even last year’s version of Haynesworth would be a huge upgrade for Seattle. But the question is would they be willing to shell out the money?
They lost out on elite receiver Brandon Marshall by low balling the Broncos with their offer; the same could be the case here.
One is also led to believe that Haynesworth is not interested in going from one rebuilding franchise to another.
Nevertheless, from a pure depth chart/roster point of view, Haynesworth could be a fit in Seattle.
The Phins had quite a fall from grace in ’09, going from winning the division in 2008 to not even making the playoffs.
While the team has a lot of unanswered questions, their offense is looking to be quite potent in the upcoming season.
If running backs Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown remain healthy, they are just as dangerous as anyone else in the game out the backfield.
The receiving core was iffy last season, but Davone Bess and Brian Hartline had their moments and showed a lot of promise.
Furthermore, the addition of Brandon Marshall boosts this unit to a whole new level. But how do the Dolphins look defensively?
Young cornerback Vontae Davis and safety Yeremiah Bell showed the Dolphins have a strong backfield defensively as well, but their play up front could use some work, especially after the departure of veteran Jason Taylor.
Dolphins starting DT Jason Ferguson missed seven games last season due to injury during his 14th NFL season. Ferguson has played in just 48 games the past five seasons, so he is certainly injury prone, and has not recorded a sack since 2005.
Haynesworth would be a big upgrade here, and if Bill Parcells truly believes Haynesworth can play at an elite level again you can bet the Dolphins will put an offer on the table.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have been the basement dwellers of the NFC West for a while now, but they made quite a few necessary adjustments heading into the 2010 NFL season.
Matt Cassel had a rough 2009, not even breaking 3,000 yards passing and throwing 16 touchdowns against 16 interceptions.
Nevertheless, another offseason under Todd Haley and newly added offensive coordinator Charlie Weis should help the relatively young QB.
Chris Chambers proved to be a quality acquisition from the Chargers, if nothing else proving to be a very effective deep ball threat.
Dwayne Bowe certainly has the tools to be a Pro Bowl receiver…the question is can he stay out of trouble long enough to have that kind of productivity?
Jamaal Charles performed like a man possessed in '09, with 1,120 rushing yards and eight TDs (one receiving) depsite not getting the starting job until Week 10.
He gives this team a tremendous boost they could not find elsewhere.
Defensively, drafting safety Eric Berry is huge, as he could become as valuable as a Troy Polamalu or Ed Reed in a very short time.
Corner back Brandon Flowers will also be a big help in making this defensive backfield formidable this season.
The defensive front is in dire need of help though, with 2009 first-round draft pick Tyson Jackson being a huge bust with just 38 tackles and no sacks.
This is where Haynesworth has the potential to make a very positive impact, and the Chiefs are one of the only teams who can afford him since very minimal funds have been used in the offseason.
Do not be too surprised if Haynesworth is wearing the red and white soon.