Sports Outside the Beltway

Albert Haynesworth gets 7-yr, $100M deal from Washington Redskins

The Tennessee Titans now have a big hole to fill on their defensive line. From AP-

Albert Haynesworth walked into the front lobby of Redskins Park on the first day of free agency. After being congratulated by front office chief Vinny Cerrato, the All-Pro defensive tackle turned and introduced his mother. Once the pleasantries were done, the parties went to work — completing the paperwork on a seven-year contract that is worth about $100 million and includes an NFL-record $41 million in guaranteed money.

The Washington Redskins were back to their old form as champions of the offseason, snagging the biggest name available in the first few hours of the open market. They agreed to terms with Haynesworth around dawn Friday, culminating a sleepless night that included a just-after-midnight deal — six years, $54 million, $22.5 million guaranteed — to re-sign cornerback DeAngelo Hall.


It was uncertain whether the Redskins would be able to fit Haynesworth under the salary cap, but the front office spent this month renegotiating several contracts to clear money for the upcoming season. The team also saved money under the cap by releasing linebacker Marcus Washington last week.

Haynesworth should help with the sacks. The 27-year-old lineman got to the quarterback a career-high 8 1/2 times last year, more than one-third of a Washington team total (24) that ranked tied for 28th in the NFL. If nothing else, he will divert attention away from defensive ends Jason Taylor and Andre Carter, who managed 7 1/2 sacks between them in 2008.

Haynesworth, 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds, and has 24 sacks in seven NFL seasons since the Titans drafted him in the first round out of the University of Tennessee in 2002. His possible downsides: He hasn’t played a full season since his rookie year because of various injuries, he’s been known to take plays off, and he might never live down a five-game suspension for swiping his cleated foot over Dallas center Andre Gurode’s face in 2006.

The suspension earned Haynesworth one of my Knucklehead awards. It’s ancient history.

To sign Haynesworth the Redskins could end up shortchanging themselves in other areas. All of my readers who don’t think that is likely to happen raise your hands. Dan Snyder has made many attention grabbing moves for the Redskins during his ownership, but they haven’t produced too many good results.

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