NFL free agency had a lot of big prizes on the market this year. Albert Haynesworth was right on the top of the list, at least for anyone who needed to improve on defense. Despite various on and off-the-field incidents, Albert Haynesworth was probably the biggest free agent to get in the NFL this season. And hours after free agency started, Albert Haynesworth already got picked up by a new team, and got an historic contract for it.
Albert Haynesworth signed the biggest contract for an NFL defenseman in history, receiving $100 million over seven years with the Washington Redskins. Haynesworth is due to be introduced by the Redskins at 5 p.m. today.
Haynesworth became such a valued pickup due to seven years with the Tennessee Titans. Most of all, Haynesworth played his way into such a huge deal last season, when he led the NFL in sacks for a defensive tackle, had 75 tackles and four fumbles, and led the Titans to the top record in the AFC.
The Redskins could pay out as much as $115 million for Haynesworth if he hits his incentives. Haynesworth will have a guaranteed $41 million, and make around $32 million in his first 13 months in Washington.
The Redskins became notorious for making these kind of expensive free agent deals under owner Dan Snyder. However, not one of those moves helped make the Redskins a contender, as they have been an expensive disappointment in most years under Snyder’s ownership. No matter how big a name they got, the expensive contracts rarely paid off.
But the Redskins not only had the pockets to get Haynesworth, they managed to resign one of their own, cornerback DeAngelo Hall, to a 6-year, $54 million deal. However, Hall was waived by the Raiders last season after signing a multi-year deal with them, then got picked up by the Redskins in mid season.
Haynesworth carries his own risks, due to injury and some questionable past behavior. Haynesworth has had recurring problems with an ACL in the last two years. In addition, he stomped on an opponent with his cleats in 2006, getting suspended for five games, and has been stopped for speeding numerous times. It may just be a coincidence that Haynesworth played to his abilities so often last year during a free agent season.
The Redskins are counting on Haynesworth and Hall to shore up their defense in the largely defensive-minded NFC East, after an 8-8 season where they missed the playoffs for the 13’th time in 16 seasons.
Associated Press- “Haynesworth gets 7-year, $100 deal from Redskins” www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j4qCGpW8XgotE88x22YewCNmDdygD96JUBA80
USA TODAY- “Haynesworth signs for $100 million with ‘Skins” blogs.usatoday.com/gameon/2009/02/espn-hayneswort.html