Why Albert Haynesworth May Be A Risk

February 23rd, 2009
Joe is concerned that free agent defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth may not be worth the risk. Peter King of SI.com is of the same mind.

Joe is concerned that free agent defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth may not be worth the risk. Peter King of SI.com is of the same mind.

A lot of Bucs fans are jumping on the Albert Haynesworth bandwagon, hoping the Bucs throw the bank at the free agent defensive tackle.

Peter King of SI.com, in his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column today, takes a good look at Haynesworth and isn’t exactly drinking the Kool-Aid. In fact, King suggests only a few teams are looking seriously at signing the 28-year old (and King doesn’t mention the Bucs as one of those teams). King did write about Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder as being smitten with Haynesworth.

In fact, Washington might be the logical landing spot. Hmmmm. I wonder why Redskins owner Dan Snyder was having dinner with the agent for Haynesworth, Chad Speck, at Morton’s here Saturday night. I’m sure they were just talking about how it was colder here than at the Arctic Circle. But I kept asking all weekend: “Who wants Haynesworth — or, more appropriately, who’s going to pony up for him?” And I got the old “it only takes one” answer a few times. But one coach told me the smartest thing, and this was a coach who has some interest in getting Haynesworth at the right price, which is about half of what Haynesworth is hoping to get. “Everybody I’ve asked this weekend says, ‘We’re out of that,’ or ‘I don’t think you’ll see us involved in Haynesworth.’ ”

Sad, really, because he’s a great football player, an impactful player who can change a game from the interior defensive line spot. The downer stuff about Haynesworth:

• He’s never played a full season. He’s started three, 11, 10, 14, 10, 12 and 14 in his seven seasons.

• He’s never played more than 65 percent of the Titans’ defensive snaps in a season. You might say a Nnamdi Asomugha is tremendously overpaid at $15-million a year (much more on him later in the column), but Asomugha or a quarterback is going to play 95 percent of his unit’s plays in the course of a year, barring injury. Even if healthy, Haynesworth’s going to come off the field a third of the time, minimum. So do you want to pay quarterback money to a player who never touches the ball and plays two-thirds of the snaps a franchise quarterback plays? It makes no sense.

• He’s got a reputation for coasting on some plays.

• He’ll be 28 on opening day. You want to pay a 335-pound guy who’s never started more than 14 games and is entering his eighth year $13 million or $15 million a year? Good luck.

In the end, my guess is Snyder will pay up and grab him. He’s the kind of trophy player Snyder would love to have, and the kind of player, if healthy, who will really help the Redskins close the gap on the Giants in the NFC East.

The thing that spooks Joe about Haynesworth is that he is nearly 30 and there is significant evidence that once defensive tackles reach 30, because they’ve been beat on so much, their production drops like a rock. So in essence, the Bucs would be throwing cash at a guy for two or three seasons.

Is that worth the gamble? Joe isn’t so sure.

2 Responses to “Why Albert Haynesworth May Be A Risk”

  1. Drew Says:

    I understand the red flags on Haynesworth but as a Bucs fan I would love to land him for the big money .

    We have over 40 million to spend and if we do not get Albert then all the fans will be dissapointed that we did not spend our money. The way I see it is signing Haynesworth would give us a top 5 run defense , make GAdams better, and allow us to spend out 1st round pick on another player non DT …..

    If the Bucs got Haynesworth I would like to see us draft Chris Wells or Moreno. We can pound the ball with a strong Oline while developing a QB and we would stop the run on Defense….

  2. Chris Says:

    I like it!!!

    No, I LOVE IT!!!