Haynesworth: one and done in D.C.?

The Redskins offered Albert Haynesworth to the Eagles in the McNabb trade, but the Eagles wanted draft picks instead. Hmm. Philly is a solid organization in terms of acquiring the right players. If they thought draft picks were more valuable than Haynesworth, what does that say about Haynesworth’s value as a player?

Here’s another interesting fact: Haynesworth received a $21 million roster bonus this past April 1st. If the Redskins are actively trying to trade him before the draft, even after they paid him that huge roster bonus, they must really want to get rid of him. If the Redskins want to get rid of you, you must have some serious problem.

Haynesworth got way too much money for how he plays. Don’t think so? In 2008 (his last year in Tennessee), he recorded 41 tackles and 8.5 sacks. In 2009 (his first year in Washington, after signing the 7-year, $100 million contract), he recorded 30 tackles and 4 sacks. So, why did a player who was being paid less on a team that plays in a pass-heavy division do more than when he was being paid more playing in a run-heavy division? In other words, a defensive tackle that has made 1st team All-Pro (Haynesworth) should’ve done much more this past year, considering the money he was being paid, as well as the run-heavy NFC East.

Fine. 2009 was a letdown year for Haynesworth.

Now, what’s next for him?

Here are a list of teams that have interest in acquiring Haynesworth, according to ESPN: the Lions, Buccaneers, Jaguars and, wait for it…the Titans.

The Lions pick second in this year’s draft. Assuming Sam Bradford goes #1 to the Rams, the Lions will be able to choose from one of the two stud DT’s, Suh from Nebraska or McCoy from Oklahoma. So, one might say that Haynesworth wouldn’t work in Detroit. But wait. The head coach of the Lions is Jim Schwartz–Haynesworth’s defensive coordinator in Tennessee for eight seasons (2002-2009). Don’t miss that. Learning a playbook  is the hardest thing to accomplish in the NFL, which Haynesworth won’t have to do if he joins the Lions.

So, if Detroit acquired Haynesworth, they might trade down in the draft to acuire another pick or two (even though OT Russell Okung is very attractive to the Lions). And for a franchise that’s starting to rebuild, you need all of the young talent you can get. Their current starters at defensive tackle are Sammie Hill (23) and Grady Jackson (37), so they definitely need more stability at that position, especially playing in a division with power runners such as Adrian Peterson, Ryan Grant and Matt Forte.

Probability of Haynesworth going to Detroit: 50%.

Now we’re left with the Buccaneers, Jaguars and Titans. Tampa Bay is in a similar situation as Detroit, as they pick third overall in this year’s draft. Again, assuming Bradford is drafted by the Rams, and even if Detroit trades down, Suh or McCoy will still be available at #3. However, Tampa Bay doesn’t have the luxury of using the “Jim Schwartz card” to lure Haynesworth. Their two starting DT’s (Ryan Sims and Chris Hovan) recorded 33 tackles each last year, three more than did Haynesworth. So, considering their draft position, I don’t think Tampa Bay will be in the mix for Haynesworth.

Probability of Haynesworth going to Tampa Bay: 12.5%

Now for the Jaguars. They currently have five defensive tackles on their roster, one of which might be the scariest dude in the NFL: John Henderson. The big thing with Jacksonville is that their attendance is the worst in the league. Regularly they have to black out games because there aren’t enough fans in attendance. And considering their potential prize off-season acquisition of (hometown) quarterback Tim Tebow, and their 10th overall draft selection, they probably won’t want to spend “Haynesworth money” to get him. Last year’s tenth pick, Michael Crabtree, signed a six-year deal worth $32 million. Jacksonville would have to pay something around that in addition to Haynesworth’s contract. With the lack of a fan base, revenue, etc., I don’t see that happening.

Probability of Haynesworth going to Jacksonville: 7.5%

Finally, Haynesworth’s old team, the Tennessee Titans. The Titans are in good shape with regards to their defensive line. Tony Brown is a star at DT. William Hayes is better than Jevon Kearse (according to the team’s depth chart), and Jovan Haye recorded one less tackle than Haynesworth last year (not a substantial difference playing at Haynesworth’s former position). This move will come down to the relationship Haynesworth has with Titans owner Bud Adams, head coach Jeff Fisher and the Titan players, which is generally good.

Probability of Haynesworth going (back) to Tennessee: 30%

In review, Detroit, Tennessee, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville (in order) are the most likely teams to acquire Haynesworth. Detroit and Tennesse are clearly on top. Tampa Bay and Jacksonville are clearly behind.

Again, Detroit is the favorite, but with two big pros and one big con. The pro: the Lion’s head coach was Haynesworth’s coach for eight years and the Lions are desperate for defensive help. The con: they like LT Russell Okung at #2 to protect the franchise player’s (Matthew Stafford) blind side. If Detroit takes Okung (or Suh or McCoy for that matter) at #2, the Haynesworth deal is probably out. If Detroit likes another OT besides Okung with a lesser grade (maybe Anthony Davis from Rutgers), they could trade down, and would end up with an anchor for their defensive (Haynesworth) and offensive (Davis) lines for the next eight years.

Thanks for reading.

-Mike

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