By: Russ Goldman
Thursday morning was very interesting when I heard of a potential move from the Patriots. Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, reportedly the Patriots traded a 5th round draft pick in 2013 to the Washington Redskins for defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth. He is a very talented player with a checkered past on and off the field. However, looking at this move, there is a low risk and potentially a high reward for the Patriots with Haynesworth.
Haynesworth’s base salary for this season would reportdly be only $5 million. As for the rest of his current deal, the Redskins have already paid the majority of the 30-year old’s contract.
Now, when Haynesworth was at his best was with the Tennessee Titans during the 2007 and 2008 seasons (he was with the Titans between 2002-2008). During that time he accumalated a total of 14.5 sacks and 91 tackles.
|Haynesworth is pretty low risk when you consider his potential impact. (FILE:Icon/SMI)|
He then received a huge $100 million dollar contract in 2009 from the Washington Redskins, $41 million of which was guaranteed.
Unfortunately for the Redskins he did not live up to his contract. In 2 seasons he only got 6.5 sacks and 53 tackles. Reportedly he also complained about the 3-4 defense that Mike Shanahan implimented last season which lead to quite a rift between the two.
Reportedly, he also has had several off the field incidents, and does have some police involvement. There is no question there is a little baggage coming with Haynesworth to New England.
However, the risk for the Patriots is very minimal. If Haynesworth acts up, and does not come to play, the Patriots can cut him before the season with very little damage. If he makes it to the regular season, the Patriots would be on the hook for his $5 million salary – which at that point would be gauranteed. If they cut him during the season, they would be out that money along with a 5th round draft pick. That is a small risk for Belichick to take for a player that at one time was thought to be the best defensive lineman in the game.
The rewards for the Patriots could be huge. The Patriots have definitely missed the presence of Richard Seymour on the defensive line.
Haynesworth has the ability to collapse the pocket, and really create pressure. With his presence on the line, his effect could be two ways. He could sack the quarterback himself, but just like Richard Seymour, force double teams that could open up pressure from the outside linebackers.
The upside for the Patriots could be considerable on a defense that has had its issues with pressuring the quarterback the last few seasons. Haynesworth could completely change the tone of the Patriots defense over night.
The question we do not have the answer for is, which Haynesworth will show up in New England? Will it be the attacking presence of his days with the Titans, or will it be the player that let the Redskins down the last 2 seasons?
So when you really look at this the risk compared to the reward, it is obvious to me that this deal is heavily in the favor of the Patriots. I think giving up a 5th round draft pick in 2 years, and paying him $5 million dollars, is not a huge sacrifice. Especially compared to the potential of his impact could have on the defense.
Sometimes deals just like this Haynesworth situation can take your team to a new level. I truly believe in this scenario, there is low risk and high reward for the New England Patriots.