And you thought you didn’t get enough of Albert Haynesworth this summer? Once again the two time Pro Bowl Defensive Tackle is in the news for all the wrong reasons. You know when the New England Patriots give up on you after trading away a fifth round choice that you’re at the end of your rope. The Patriots have waived the oft troubled former 1st round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans.
Reports stem from New England avoiding an upcoming contractual bonus to a sideline incident between Haynesworth and coaches. The reasons really don’t matter in the end though. Haynesworth, the former Sporting News 2008 Defensive Player of the Year, is on the street.
The Haynesworth saga has now reached “rock bottom”. Three teams in three years; Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, New England Patriots. This story sounds oddly familiar. Big time talent with troubled background breaks away from original team and signs the deal of a lifetime (Washington Redskins – 7 years, $100 million). Haynesworth then became the perfect target for a head coach that is constantly looking for one. That investment lasted all of one season as Haynesworth was suspended for the remainder of 2010.
Bill Belichick traded a 5th round pick in 2013 for a chance to rehab the once dominant player. But Haynesworth struggled on and off the field, couldn’t find his fit in the Patriot defense and was released.
One might argue that this is nothing new. Character questions have plagued Haynesworth since the beginning of his career. As sighted from Wikipedia;
- Haynesworth refused to workout at the NFL Combine.
- An arrest warrant was issued of Haynesworth stemming from a traffic incident, charges later dropped.
- Haynesworth was suspended in 2007 an unprecedented 5 games for stomping on Dallas Cowboys Andre Gurode’s head.
- In 2008 Haynesworth was convicted of two misdemeanor traffic violations relating to an accident in which a victim was left partially paralyzed after colliding with Haynesworth’s vehicle.
- Haynesworth “called out” his coaches at Washington in 2009 regarding the defensive system being employed.
- Clayton Bank and Trust filed suit against Haynesworth for failure to make payment on a $2.38 million dollar loan.
- Haynesworth entered the “dog house” of Mike Shanahan in 2010, failing the team’s preseason conditioning test, missing a practice and then faced suspension for “conduct detrimental” to the club.
- Also in 2010 Haynesworth was implicated in a paternity suit by stripper Sylvia Mena for $10 million.
- Haynesworth allegedly threw a punch to the nose of Joel Velazques of Leesburg, Va. during a traffic altercation.
- Haynesworth reportedly argued with Patriot coaches Pepper Johnson and Bill Belichick on the sidelines of a New England game.
Haynesworth’s sports agent Chad Speck must be pulling his hair out, but continues to represent his player over this twisting, turning, troubled course. Some might argue that at age 30 nothing is going to change. They’re probably right. “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” and all those other catchy phrases that go with trying to turn around Haynesworth’s type.
I for one see another “poster child” for an enhanced Player Development Program by his sports agency or Haynesworth’s club (if he ever gets another one). I would MANDATE his participation before he ever stepped foot into the facility. This would include an individualized and coordinated plan integrating all of the following resources;
- FESS (Flexibility, Explosion Strength, and Speed) Director
- Head Athletic Trainer
- Team Physician
- L6L (Performance and Clinical Psychologist) Director
- Public/Media Communications Director
- Educational Programs and Curriculum Development Director
- Team Chaplain and Community Outreach Director
- Financial Advisor and Business Development Director
- Head Football Coach
- Player Personnel and Evaluation Director
- Legal Counsel
I would work closely with Haynesworth’s immediate family and ensure his 100% participation as an agreement to any future contractual compensation. As much work would be done off the field as on the field.
Look, The Football Educator is not saying this will resurrect Haynesworth’s career, but it might eventually save his life.