The New England Patriots released Albert Haynesworth today and thus ends the saga documented in a number of posts, here, here, here and here. I’m not obsessed with the man, it’s just that the story has reached its fitting conclusion and I’m dutifully wrapping things up.
He had three tackles for New England this year. He suffered numerous injuries. He seemed to be out of shape. He was tossed around like a rag doll by a Giants guard last Sunday and it led directly to a New York touchdown and then a verbal altercation on the sidelines between Haynesworth and New England’s defensive coordinator.
It would appear that at the ripe old age of 30, his career has ended. Hubris, ego and a highly questionable work ethic have finally done him in, though I suspect more than anything else, it was really all that money Redskins owner, Daniel Snyder gave him that doomed the one-time all-pro. It’s just possible that when someone signs you to a $100 million dollar plus contract, you might develop an exaggerated view of yourself.
The whole situation was, at one time during his Redskins tenure, maddening, funny, ridiculous and outrageous. But there’s nothing really amusing about Albert anymore. It’s actually kind of sad and I hope he finds some humility and some inner peace and gets his life together outside of the NFL.
Update: Well, not so fast. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have picked up Albert and though he had said New England would be his last stop…he was just kidding! He gets $8 million over two years. Using my trusty calculator…let’s see…8 games with the Patriots, three tackles…Albert has collected $666,666 for each tackle he’s made this season.
I’m not supposed to care about Albert Haynesworth anymore because he left the Redskins for the Patriots- but curiosity got the better of me so I checked in with the Boston Globe. He hasn’t practiced now for 19 days.
The New England media, at first convinced this was going to be another case in which miracle-worker Bill Belicheck was going to somehow reform yet another Diva-Athlete malcontent- is now not so sure.
Here’s a terrific and hilarious article by the dean of Boston sportswriters, Dan Shaughnessy.
And here are the highlights:
Best of all, they [the New England Patriots] have a secret – and we mean secret – weapon that is almost never seen, rarely practices, and is unlikely to be deployed in a preseason game. Don’t tell the Dolphins, but the Patriots plan to surprise them in the season opener Sept. 12 when they wheel out the great Albert Haynesworth….Other than a fan’s Twitter photo (which surfaced this week) of Albert eating Italian ice on Atlantic Avenue, there was no record of Albert’s whereabouts from Aug. 4 until yesterday, when he watched practice.
“Watched’’ is the key word. Haynesworth did not participate in anything. Not even light running. No one is saying whether he is hurt or out of shape. Bill Belichick says he is “day to day,’’ but won’t say whether he’s planning on Albert for the opener.
So there you have it. The Patriots have Haynesworth and they’re not going to be dopes and show him to the opposition. He doesn’t need to practice. It worked with Randy Moss in 2007 (9 catches, 183 yards in the opener after a no-show preseason) and it’ll work again.
Patriot’s coaches and ownership are saying Albert is just misunderstood and most of the terrible things that have been written about him in recent years are all bunk.
Meanwhile, the Patriots PR machine (including actual Patriot employees) prepares to nominate Albert for a Nobel Prize and Time’s Man of the Year. Never mind the rap sheet that’s longer than Ted Williams’ Hall of Fame plaque. So what if the Redskins gave Albert a $100 million contract, then sent him home for the last four games of 2010 rather than have him around to poison their team.
Even for a lousy high-round draft pick, the Redskins getting rid of Albert was the best move EVER.
So sorry, Patriot nation.
Two seasons worth of Albert Haynesworth should be just about enough for anybody. His largeness is theoretically headed to the New England Patriots ridding the Washington Redskins of their most annoying player ever and writing the final chapter on Daniel Snyder’s high-spending ineptitude.
For $100 million, the Skins got maybe a half a season out of him. Along the way he pouted about the team’s defensive system, complained about the coaches, failed physicals, got arrested a couple of times, got suspended, got taken off the field in a cart once after getting winded in a game, fell to the ground uninjured but seemingly exhausted during a play and stayed on the turf like a gigantic beached whale while 21 other players continued running, blocking and tackling all around him.
There are some priceless quotes from a few newspapers about all this today that I’d like to share. From the New York Times:
Now, apparently Patriots Coach Bill Belichick believes his magic powers extend to extracting…talent from Haynesworth, which means he spent his lockout time building a wand strong enough to move nearly 400 pounds of self-absorbed entitlement.
And the Boston Globe puts it this way:
Well, this will certainly liven up camp.
Patriot’s fans seem to be optimistic. The Boston Globe asks them what they think of the trade. Here are the latest numbers:
1) Love it, if anyone can straighten him out, it’s Bill Belichick 55%
2) He’s going to be more trouble than he’s worth 12%
3) I’ll wait and see before deciding 32%
Belichick will have to see if he passes the physical on which this trade is contingent. Albert didn’t too well with physicals at last year’s training camp, failing them three times. Pats fans will also be hoping Albert avoids incarceration after his August 23rd trial for misdemeanor sexual assault. Presumably he can afford some pretty good lawyers.
Redskins fans will be circling Sunday, December 11th on their calendars; the day the Patriots are due at Fed Ex Field and our first opportunity in DC to see the New Albert, the Old Albert or No Albert.
The Redskins have just suspended Albert Haynesworth for the rest of the season without pay. They will save almost a million dollars with the move. Meaning he pretty much stole about $31 million over the past two years.
I’m pretty sure I called him a creep once. Ah, here it is, June 18th of this year. Called him a sorry-ass too:
For those of you who don’t know about this creep, Albert Haynesworth is the highest paid defensive lineman in the NFL, brought in by the Washington Redskins last year and apparently told by owner, Daniel Snyder that he’d be allowed to play the position any way he wanted to. Fast forward a year and there’s a new coach in town who wants Albert to play a different position as part of what’s called a 3-4 defense.
He demanded to be traded. He refused to attend voluntary training sessions. The Skins tried to dump his sorry ass but apparently no other team wanted to swallow his bloated salary or a $20 million bonus that was due to him in the Spring. Coach Mike Shanahan made it clear- if we can’t trade you and you take this $20 million bucks, we expect you to play whatever position we decide.
He took the money and then refused to show up to mandatory training sessions and this week, reiterated his intent to leave Washington and play elsewhere.
His teammates have turned against him, calling him selfish. The fans, of course, loath him. He has burned every bridge he had in Washington and now possibly, across the NFL. And if the Redskins can’t get rid of him, he will remain a cancer on the team for the entire season.
Cut him. Swallow the losses and cut him. Let the millions of dollars in losses burn a great big hole in Dan Snyder’s pockets as a lesson to not be such a chump about bringing in high-priced free-agent divas.
Well, I’ll be darned. They didn’t cut him. He did remain a cancer for the three-fourths of the season. Dan Snyder has a HUGE, well-deserved hole in his pocket.
Here are excerpts from the statement by Coach Shanahan:
Despite the club’s numerous attempts to persuade Albert Haynesworth to abide by the terms of his contract, he has repeatedly refused to cooperate with our coaching staff in a variety of ways over an extended period of time….he has consistently indicated to our defensive coaches that he refuses to play in our base defense or on first-down or second-down nickel situations. He also has refused to follow the instructions of our coaches both during weekly practices and during actual games as well….Yesterday, when Albert was at Redskin Park, he told our General Manager Bruce Allen that he would no longer speak with me. Although suspending any player is not a decision that a head coach enters into lightly, I believe the situation has reached the point where the club clearly has no alternative.
As Haynesworth spoke to the media yesterday, I noticed an enormous diamond earing he was sporting in his left ear. I thought to myself, that thing must be worth $50,000! Hang on to it, Albert. A reminder of the days when you used to be a high-paid NFL star.