Albert Haynesworth to Seattle: A Different, Hesitant Perspective

Albert Haynesworth is a selfish player; he wants to make plays on the football field.

Haynesworth doesn’t want to take on opposing blockers so someone else can claim the glory; he wants to be the playmaker and focal point of the defensive line.

Unfortunately for Haynesworth, the Washington Redskins are asking him to play nose tackle in their 3-4 defense. The zero-technique nose tackle is responsible for multiple gaps and simultaneously taking on at least two offensive players. In other words, the nose tackle does the dirty work so other players can make plays.

Haynesworth, who typically plays the right defensive tackle position, is used to playing in an aggressive, one-gap scheme. He has spent most of his career lined up as a three-technique tackle, allowing him to quickly and aggressively attack his gap and make plays.

The Redskins want him to play nose tackle, but Haynesworth would prefer playing for a team that employs a different scheme.

Thanks to a rumor started by Len Pasquarelli, the Seattle Seahawks could be the new team willing to feature Haynesworth in a more agreeable scheme. Haynesworth is likely to be traded and the former All-Pro could be had for close to nothing.

But do the Seahawks really need to acquire a player who could potentially develop into a headache?

Haynesworth’s dominance on the field earned him a seven-year, $100 million contract from Washington. You would almost expect such a high-paid athlete – Haynesworth, or any other player making millions – to be willing to line up anywhere on the field, regardless of the situation or potential outcome.

Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett was critical of Haynesworth via Twitter a few days ago, and probably said what a lot of people were already thinking:

Did I just hear this correctly ‘Albert Haynesworth’ will not be [at] mandatory minicamp? And he wants a trade, after signing 100 million dollar contract?”

That’s why I tell yall I’m nothing like these dudes, for a 100 million my ass will play 4-4, 3-4, 5-9, 4-8, and still whip ass!

If Haynesworth can revert back to All-Pro form, it could be worth it to let him play whatever role he wants on the defensive line. Disruptive and dominant are good ways to describe a happy and healthy Albert Haynesworth – you would be hard-pressed to find someone on Seattle’s defensive line who matches the same description.

Haynesworth would immediately upgrade Seattle’s pass rush. As a three-technique defensive tackle in Seattle’s defense, rather than occupying blockers as the nose tackle in a three-man front, Haynesworth would be able to penetrate, slant, and attack. Such a disruptive force in the trenches would attract additional attention and also allow opportunities for other defensive linemen.

But despite the upside of acquiring Haynesworth, is it really worth the risk? Even if Haynesworth is no longer disgruntled, he could still prove to be a headache with a new team.

Haynesworth spent the first five seasons of his NFL career operating as an overweight underachiever, and his stomping on the head of Andre Gurode was so shocking some people still question his character. Despite being a dominant force when healthy, Haynesworth is somewhat prone to injury and has never played a full campaign during his eight seasons in the NFL. And at 29 years old, it could be argued that Haynesworth’s best days are now behind him.

If the Seattle Seahawks can acquire Albert Haynesworth, the dominant, disruptive defensive tackle who regularly commands double- and triple-teams, then I’m definitely a proponent of any deal.

But if the Albert Haynesworth they’re going to acquire is injury-prone, disgruntled, and lazy, then I would prefer the Seahawks don’t even pick up when the Redskins call.

Shaun Dolence: [email protected]
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Tags: 3-4 Defense 4-3 Defense Albert Haynesworth Andre Gurode Brandon Mebane Colin Cole Contract Darnell Dockett Defensive Scheme Defensive Tackle Len Pasquarelli National Football League Nose Tackle Pro Bowl Rumor Seattle Seahawks Trade Washington Redskins

  • William

    i can understand why people look at him as being selfish but look from what i hear they handed him the 21 million to do what he does best and not somthing else yes it is a job and he is an employee but if im good a working on cars i apply to go work on cars not be told to work on cars and end up selling them thats where im going to be on AHs side he took that singing being promised to play DT not NT thats why i feel that doing a complete 180 in the front office brought this problem on to them selfs but in the teams deffence he can go about it a different way insted of being so hardnosed about it you payed him the money to do a certin job let him do that certin job me personaly i think we need his on feild attitued on our deffence to get the swagger we used to have back not seeing hardly any sacks is just pittiful to watch i just wouldnt offer the money he got maybe 3 year 3 mill no garunteed money deal and see how he handles it from there with attitude on and off the feild if hes productive great if not its 9 mill not horrible but not great and let him play DT

    • Shaun Dolence

      No doubt, I understand Haynesworth’s frustration. But I can also understand frustration from the other perspective.

      Haynesworth is making $100 million to play football; it shouldn’t matter where he lines up.

      I’m hesitant on acquiring him just because I don’t want to add a headache to the locker room. Haynesworth has developed a reputation as a guy who isn’t as interested in dominating now that he’s been paid. We definitely don’t need any more of those guys in Seattle (career-seasons coincide with contract-years, then production drops).

    • 440

      Whatever ever, dude..first of all you can’t compare apple to orange. Dude is job is playing football for a living, not really work, but wonder if you and I still have our jobs if we just no show for work? So he’s a selfish individual and you’re ignorance for backing him. This guys gets paid for playing, not really a job!! So quit his whining and just play, either way he’s getting his money. If he doesn’t like it, give back the money and go flip the burgers at McDonald’s at $8 bucks an hour, and maybe occasionally he might have to take out the trash. Might not like that either, cuz it’s not in his contract. Give me a freaking break..Grow up!!

      • DB

        What makes you think Albert Haynesworth would be able to work at McDonalds (or any other fast food, retail, or customer service job)? It’s ridiculous that you people think low-paying jobs are easy. I have family and friends who work in jobs that pay less than 30,000 a year. Guess what, they are honest, hardworking and loyal. How dare anybody insult them by putting them in the same category as an overindulged, pampered waste of space like Albert Haynesworth. He wouldn’t last two weeks at any retail or food service job. Neither would any of you idiots who belittle people who work endless hours (at two or three jobs) with no benefits and still support their families.

        • Andrew Auger

          I don’t think anyone was trying to take things to the level you’re bringing it to.

          As someone who goes to college as a full time student who has a job, things can get rough. My best friend goes to college and has two jobs.

          As far as not lasting two weeks at McDonalds… Well… Lets not overexxagerate…

          An NFL players workload would at least equal the strain of someone working 2 jobs.

          I think the more accurate statement would be your family and friends couldn’t last two weeks in an NFL training regimen, if anything.

  • Juice McGoose

    Before Haynesworth signed last year he ruled out offers from all teams with 3-4 defenses that didn’t let him chase the QB. Before signing with the Skins they promised to play him in a defense that allowed him to chase the QB. New Coach Shanahan told Haynesworth he didn’t want him to charge the QB and would be disappointed if he got more than two sacks this season.

    Some people will do anything for the right amount of money. Some people won’t. Haynesworth did his best to put himself on a team that wanted to use him the way he wants. That team did a 180. As a middle defensive lineman you either charge the QB or you don’t.

    So now all the people who will do anything for money can’t understand why someone with all the money won’t do anything for it. Perhaps there are people who think there are other factors in life like how they do something that is important to them. As probably the most dominate defensive lineman apparently it matters a lot to Haynesworth how he plays the game. People are shocked! Here is a person who truly cares about what he does. How dare he!

    He took that $21 mil on April 1 as was agreed upon when he signed. Has anyone ever refused their bonus?

    Is Albert Haynesworth worth a third or fourth pick and $5 mil a year? Absolutely. A screaming deal.

    • Mike Harden

      I don’t blame Haynesworth for taking the money, but now that he is under contract, he should attend mandatory camps and whatnot. If he wants out of town, I’m sure the Redskins have a price if he’s willing to pay it. And if it is really more important to him to play in a system, then he’ll pay the price to get out of town. Otherwise, he should show up and play where the coaches tell him.

      This is the NFL, and he knew that coaches and systems can change from year to year. If that was really important to him at signing, then he should have put a voidable clause in his contract that if the team changed to a two-gap system that didn’t utilize him correctly, then he could walk.

  • Blake

    It says a lot about a player to whine your way out of a 100 million dollar contract. You would think his attitude would be similar to Dockett’s. Though we all know by now, Pete is willing to take chances on players with ‘character’. So if we can snag him for the 4th/5th + 5 mil a year, I am all for it. Its a great deal for the talent we would get in return. As long as we don’t tell him to play nose tackle, we should be good for years to come :)

    Did anyone else see that Bobby McCray (former DE of the saints) was just released? I really hope the hawks look into that. He is not coming off the best season ever, but has obviously shown in the past that he CAN be a great player. We could pick him up for cheap, so its win/win really.

  • Jrock

    Hate to breake it to ya, but washington just paid him 21 mill for nothing and they aren’t gonna trade him for a 4th or 5th rounder. Unless they get some money back, he’s not going anywhere without a 1st attached