What’s the skinny with Albert Haynesworth?

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Albert Haynesworth’s future with the Titans has been speculated on for a while, including on this site. Now Albert’s agent claims there has been “no significant movement” in contract talks.
It doesn’t sound like much to me, just some agentspeak. Agents have been known to posture before (gasp!) so if that’s the case here, it certainly wouldn’t surprise me.
It doesn’t really seem like “news” to me, but things are slow at this time of year. After Jim Wyatt reported the so-called “news” in The Tennessean the other day, the other local media picked up on it, probably because they didn’t have anything else to “report”.
It is something that can be talked about, though. I may be totally wrong here, but I believe the Titans have already given Albert an offer which they believe is fair, not a lowball offer. If so, then Albert and his agent obviously don’t agree and are hoping to get a better deal.
Will Albert change his mind and accept the offer on the table, assuming there is a legitimate one? Or will he let the July 15 deadline for a long-term deal pass?
It’s not hard to imagine a scenario in which Albert holds out and reports late to camp. Maybe even out of shape (another gasp!). I certainly hope that doesn’t happen but it’s well within the realm of possibility in the current environment.
Of course, the Titans hold the trump card, the franchise tag, which Albert’s agent wants them to relinquish in exchange for signing the one-year tender. A nice maneuver, but one that’s almost totally one-sided.
My best guess at this time is that Albert will play under the franchise tag this year. The Titans will have the right to do it again next year, but somehow I get the gut feeling they won’t.
What are your thoughts on the situation?

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12 Responses to “What’s the skinny with Albert Haynesworth?”

  1. I.jason Says:

    I think the Titans are doing the thing that makes the most business sense. I don’t believe there’s a real lon-term offer on the table, unless it’s incentive-laden, and structured so that the “big pay-day” is NEXT year, and not this.
    Al has yet to play a full season, for various reasons. His first truly “dominant” season was last year – a contract year. The Titans don’t like dropping big money on players to begin with, and they’re even more gun-shy now, after having been through cap-induced hell. There’s no way they lock themselves in to huge money long-term for a guy who’s (so far) proven to be unreliable (and who has publicly blasted their drafting/FA shopping style). Al’s agent can bluster and spin things all he wants, but what the Titans are doing IS fair, and it IS the smart thing to do for the team. It’s also their right under the CBA.
    Oh, and speaking of the CBA, that’s one of the reasons AL’s agent is pushing so hard to either get a long-term done now, or guarantee Al will be free to sign elsewhere next season. Remember, with the owners opting out of the CBA, the number of years a signing bonus can be pro-rated against the cap is dropping (I believe it’s 6 this year, 5 next). This means fewer teams will be willing/able to give Al a huge signing bonus next year, because they won’t have the cap space. Also, if Al gets a huge bonus and then turns into a pumpkin again, teams can’t cut him, because after this season, there will be no June 1st rule. In other words, instead of being able to split up the “Cap hit” over two years, the entire bonus will count against the cap that year. Very few teams are likely to take that risk on a guy who has a history of injury and of slacking.
    Some might argue that 2010 being an uncapped year makes that a moot issue, as most teams would be willing to give AL 2009 to prove himself, since that would be the first year of his new contract. And if everyone truly believed there wouldn’t be a new CBA in place prior to 2011 would be right. The problem with that theory is that there WILL be a new CBA in place, possibly even before 2010. In which case, old contracts will likely be “grandfathered,” and those giant bonus numbers will still count against the cap.
    These factors probably also figure into the way the Titans are negotiating with AL. As a small-market team, it makes more sense for them to wait till next season to sign Al long-term, when they can argue for a smaller signing bonus “because of the cap,” and/or franchise him until the CBA is renewed, and the economic landscape is better known.

  2. I.jason Says:

    *sigh* I tried to post again, and it got eaten, again. One day I’ll remember to save the post in Word before I hit “post”
    Short version recap:
    Titans should be Franchising Al, for the following reasons:
    1) Al’s history: No complete seasons, history of “slacking,” etc.
    2) CBA: With the owners opting out, Signing bonuses can only be pro-rated over 5 years next season, which means fewer teams will have the cap space to sign Al to huge guaranteed money contracts, which means the Titans will be able to be competitive, should they want to (or argue that another Franchised year is in Al’s best interests, to get him to the “uncapped year”).
    Al’s agent can posture all he likes, but what the Titans are doing is fair, reasonable, and their right under the CBA. It’s also the smart move for the team.

  3. Garland Says:

    As you can see, Jason, posts don’t always show up right away. I’m not sure why, but I have seen the same thing. In any case, if you write that many words I would copy them off before posting and keep them until you see them on the site.

  4. elk burg' Says:

    trade him to the giants 🙂

  5. cld12pk2go Says:

    If he doesn’t take the offered long-term contract, then he will play under the tag.
    He might not like it, but that is the CBA.
    There is no reason for the Titans to yield to the promise of not tagging him again. I see that only as a way to keep a player the team really only wants to keep for another year, and is simply not something you do with an irreplaceable talent like Albert version 2007.
    Al will be a keeper if he can show another year of performance like 2007.

  6. pat T Says:

    Hey Titans trade Albert Hayenswoth to the Raiders will give you a couple of 1st round picks…
    GO RAIDERS!!!

  7. Dave Says:

    I’d take a couple 1st round picks for AH.

  8. Tom Gower Says:

    Albert needs to be on the Titans for another year, so he could just show up in Week 10, get credit for this year, and we can have this battle again next year. The DT franchise tag is only about $6.5 million, so franchising for a second year in a row wouldn’t really be cost-prohibitive. FYI, Ross Tucker also mentions this in his column today on SI, and he basically approves of what the Titans are doing.
    If you ever have a problem with a comment not posting, just shoot one of us an email. It’s in our author profiles (click the post author’s name). Sometimes it ends up flagged as spam for some reason (multiple links, maybe), but sometimes it just disappears. I normally keep a text file on my desktop and copy and paste all comments I make and don’t feel like rewriting in there.

  9. jerry t Says:

    He’s not going any wherer for a while,Go big AL………

  10. Drexel Perry Says:

    Well, Al’s gotta be licking his chops after the record deal given to Tommie Harris by the Bears:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3453129
    Al’s going to get his big payday: it’s just a matter of whether or not it will be in Tennessee or elsewhere.
    I’m getting the feeling that Al will be in another NFL uniform after this year, with next year’s #1 being devoted towards bringing in his replacement.

  11. Scott Says:

    My one concern with the Titans handling of Albert is that there is nobody behind him waiting in the wings to take over. I guess the thought was that Randy Starks could be groomed to be Albert’s backup and then take over the starting role if something were to happen to Al or if he were to sign elsewhere. But, Starks was a bust (notwithstanding the big payday he received with Miami) and today nobody in the organization has stepped forward and demonstrated that they can fill Albert’s shoes. That may change this year in training camp, if Antonio Johnson shows something. But failing that, there is no other DT on the roster that can take Big Al’s place.
    Jason Jones, Barry Booker and maybe even William Hayes might develop into good DTs, but they are on the smallish size for a DT, and fit the finesse mold of a Tony Brown – not the run stopping force in the middle that is Albert.
    We also know that the Titans are unlikely to go into free agency next year and pay the money that would be necessary to get a player like Albert. After the 2008 season, the Tommie Harris money may seem like a great deal for the Titans – particularly if Albert has another big year.
    And the Titans need a big, disruptive presence in the middle of that defensive line to succeed – we saw that when Albert was out for 3 games this past season.
    I don’t think the Titans have too many options here. Sometimes you have to roll the dice, and hope that the player has turned the corner and will continue to play up to his potential. I say pay the man and let’s move on.

  12. carl-b Says:

    pay the man his money and let’s play ball

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