New England Patriots: 5 Reasons Why Albert Haynesworth Trade Was Great Move
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has once again proven himself a brilliant risk taker and talent evaluator.
New England went 14-2 last season, finishing first in the increasingly competitive AFC East, in a year many experts thought would be a rebuilding year.
Not with Belichick.
There is no such thing as a "bridge year" when we are talking about any team under the control of the "Hoodie." Belichick is smart and so good at what he does, that it is almost silly to second guess his moves.
The Haynesworth deal is another one of those moves. Listen, the dude is big, fat, lazy and might even be the worst free agent signing in NFL history (his $100 million, seven-year deal with the Redskins in 2009). But no one can tell me that he isn't ridiculously talented.
In 2008 with Tennessee Titans, Haynesworth was one of the most disruptive defensive player in the NFL along with Ed Reed, DeMarcus Ware, and James "Soundbite" Harrison.
Once he signed with Washington, though, he gained a ton of weight, and even had trouble passing his physical. Things got so bad with the Redskins (and head coach Mike Shanahan), that he was suspended for the final four games of 2010.
I guess it would be obvious to say that Washington Redskins fans are happy to see Haynesworth go.
Here are five reasons why Patriots fans should be happy to see Albert Haynesworth come to New England this season.
5. The New England Patriots Need a Pass-Rusher
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The glory days of Richard Seymour, Willie McGinest and Mike Vrabel are over for the New England Patriots.
Last season was a year full of Mike Wright, Ron Brace, Jermain Cunningham, Tully Banta-Cain, Vince Wilfork and Rob Ninkovitch. Aside from Wilfork, none of those guys are scaring anyone, and Wilfork isn't even close to being a dangerous pass-rusher.
With Albert Haynesworth in tow, the Patriots are in infinitely better position than they were last season.
They now have Haynesworth on the right end (occupying Seymour's old position), Wilfork on the inside, and Ty Warren (returning from injury) playing left end. All the sudden, the defensive line becomes one of the Patriots strengths.
In case you are wondering, the combined weight of those three is 960 lbs...Lord, have mercy.
4. Mike Wright Wasn't "Right" Last Season
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Mike Wright, the energetic, high-motor defensive end for the New England Patriots, was shut down last season after only 10 games.
Concussion-like symptoms. Normally, this will knock a player out for two or three weeks. In Wright's case, it knocked him out for nine, and that number could've grown if the Pats made it past the first round in the playoffs.
He is a fantastic, underrated player, who managed six sacks in a little more than half a season last year. With a more expanded role, Wright was on his way to having a great year.
The team still has high hopes for him, I'm sure, but with Albert Haynesworth's addition, there is no need for the Patriots to be over-reliant on Wright's ability to stay healthy. I would venture to guess that Wright's injury, coupled with Ty Warren's season-cancelling hip injury (last year) are the only reasons the Pats even looked into Haynesworth. Otherwise, they would have been set.
With Haynesworth filling Wright's position, the Pats now have the flexibility to bring in Wright exclusively on pass-rushing downs. The Patriots are heavy users of the nickel and dime defense (sub-defense), and will be able to rotate Wright and Big Al in order to keep them both fresh.
3. The New England Patriots No Longer Have to Break the Bank for an OLB
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Albert Haynesworth's addition to the New England Patriots defensive line might have saved that Pats a whole ton of money.
Haynesworth is well known for costing the Washington Redskins $100 million, and I am using the word cost for a reason: He didn't pay any dividends. He was a total dead weight for them. His laziness, coupled with his last name, provided many, many terrible HaynesWORTH jokes.
But for New England, he will actually be saving them money. Now, New England can choose to either develop some of its younger talent (Jermaine Cunningham and Eric Moore, specifically) or it can go into the free agency market and get a cheap option to fill the outside linebacker need.
There is no need for a Matt Roth (pictured left) signing, or any player of his caliber, who would undoubtedly cost New England upwards of $20 million (considering Jason Babin got $28 million).
The Patriots are now pretty much set at all positions on offense and defense.
With the Chad Ochocinco signing, and the rumors of a Matt Light signing, the New England Patriots are ready for the season to start.
With the New York Jets still scrambling for a cornerback, and the Miami Dolphins still scrambling for a quarterback, the Pats can sit back, relax and enjoy what has been one of the craziest weeks in NFL free agency history.
2. This Type of Move Has Worked Before for New England Patriots
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Randy Moss. Corey Dillon.
Those names ringing any bells?
Well, they certainly worked out for the New England Patriots. Dillon had the best season of his career and won a Super Bowl in his first year with the Pats, while Moss broke the all-time single-season touchdown record and played on the first ever team to start a season 18-0 in his first year.
Pretty good track record.
Now, Albert Haynesworth will join this group.
The group of breathtakingly super-talents who were stuck on garbage teams and gave up. Is "giving up" the best trait in the world? No, but they did it for one simple reason.
There was no motivation anywhere. Unless you include their contracts (which were probably the reasons they stopped being motivated in the first place), there was no incentive for these players to try their hardest. They are selfish. They don't think of the fans as deserving of their best effort. Nonetheless, on teams that were constantly losing, these supposed football gods started playing like bench-warmers.
Moss and Dillon completely revived their careers in New England. It would make sense that Haynesworth make the Patriots 3-3 on high risk/high reward acquisitions.
Big Al is joining an impossibly talented roster, a Hall-of-Fame coach and quarterback, and one of the most successful NFL franchises of the past 10 years.
Cool side note: Haynesworth is 30 years old. Moss and Dillon? Both 30 when they joined New England.
1. Why Not? There Is Such High Reward, and Almost No Risk
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The New England Patriots know the cost of doing business.
They totally botched the Adalius Thomas signing, and got killed by a knee injury in the Rosevelt Colvin signing. There is such thing as a big-time free agent not working out.
But Albert Haynesworth isn't one of those guys. The Patriots could cut him from the roster and not owe him a dime. We have seen Bill Belichick trade or release superstar players before, most notably the Randy Moss trade last season.
New England literally traded a fifth-round pick in 2013 for a potential all-star player.
I'll take my chances with that all day.
If problems arise on the field or in the locker room? Belichick will just drop the ax like the cold-blooded assassin he is.
If problems don't arise, and Haynesworth actually plays hard this season?
The sky is the limit.
What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading!