One man’s take on Haynesworth’s contract situation

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I’ve had requests to comment on Albert Haynesworth turning down a reported four-year, $40 million contract, so here goes. That sounds like a great deal, but… it’s all relative.
First, I believe it’s important to note that the reported $40M offered to Haynesworth is not the most important number to look at. The amount of guaranteed money (primarily the signing bonus and first year base salary) is the number most important to players and their agents. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Unfortunately, we don’t know how much of that reported 40M offer is guaranteed but it’s a safe bet that it’s less than 20M, which is probably in the neighborhood of what Albert was looking for.
Paul Kuharsky reported some of the numbers for the five highest paid DTs this year. According to that list, Tommy Kelly is bringing home 13.6M this year and I’d be surprised if the Titans offered Albert much more than that in guaranteed money, if even that.
Albert was the best DT in the league last year and it’s understandable he wants to be paid accordingly. Given the Titans’ and Albert’s histories, I doubt if anyone is surprised that the Titans and Albert weren’t able to come to an agreement.
I would personally have a difficult time turning down an offer for 10M guaranteed, even if it was insulting to my abilities. But that’s just my own personal value system. Albert feels he’s worth more than what he was offered and I can’t blame him for turning down the offer if that’s how he feels.
Brett Favre turned down 12M to be a backup. These guys live in a different world than most of us, so… it’s all relative. The money is, anyway.
What I’m most interested in is if Albert will bust his butt again this year and have another great season or if his level of play regresses to that exhibited in earlier seasons.
What are your thoughts?

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19 Responses to “One man’s take on Haynesworth’s contract situation”

  1. JimOKC Says:

    Aside from Strahan, I think that a healthy AH is the best DT in the league. I would have liked to see him sign a deal like Roos or Stewart.
    Maybe that will get done next year or we will get 2 first rounders.
    Either way, I hope AH works his tail off and has a dominating year.
    Jim

  2. Drexel Perry Says:

    If a guy like Tommy Kelly can pocket a guaranteed $13.6 million, it’s understandable that Haynesworth, at least two times the player Kelly is, would expect to receive more.
    On the other side of the coin, I can understand why the Titans are a bit reluctant to throw a ton of money in Haynesworth’s direction as a result of injuries, the suspension, etc,.
    It’s a dicey situation, and hopefully, both sides can meet each other halfway.
    As for the Titans, is there any doubt what position will be drafted in the first round next year? If your going to engage in a chess match with your franchise DT, you better make sure you have someone who is a capable replacement.
    With that said, here’s hoping Al comes into camp (soon) motivated to prove he is worth the huge, long-term deal he covets.

  3. kevin G Says:

    i think that this is the right move. if we gave albert his big payday now he would slack off next year, he is dominating WHEN HE WANTS TO BE, and last year was the only year I saw him completely dominate.
    I agree with the titans front office 100 percent on this one, I want to see proof that he can do it again before I make him one of the highest paid players in the NFL. another major concern is his injury history. if he has the same level of dominance as well as plays the entire season, I would tell him to name his price.
    kg

  4. Markus Says:

    Big Al has to understand that he is trying to earn “great money” while he is still “potentially great”. Aside from last year(which was shortened), his body of work (no pun intended) was sporadic. He deserves top 5 money. If he wants #1 DT money, he needs to put 1 more year together. If I were the front office, I’d give him a 2 year deal that’s semi-cap friendly with incentives and a clause for #1 extension money after next year to lock him up for 5-6 years. Win/win for everyone if Al plays to his potential!

  5. Garland Says:

    Jim mentioned getting two first rounders next year, presumably in a trade for Haynesworth. That’s not possible, is it? He’s unrestricted unless he is franchised again, and I assume you can’t trade a franchised player. So it will be a big contract or bust, I think.

  6. Garland Says:

    Sports Network says part of training camp will be at Austin Peay. I had not heard that this year (they did 2 years ago), so I am wondering if this is a mistake in this article. Anyone know for certain?
    http://www.sportsnetwork.com/merge/tsnform.aspx?c=sportsnetwork&page=nfl/news/newstest.aspx?id=4165553

  7. Tom Gower Says:

    After they drafted an RB in the first round this year, Drexel, with all those other guys I liked on the board, I don’t know about definitely taking a DT. Maybe they’ll take another RB on the “fourth time’s the charm” theory.

  8. JimOKC Says:

    Wasn’t thinking of a trade. He would have to sign a contract to be traded.
    My thoughts were to this: “Haynesworth was tendered the non-exclusive defensive tackle figure of $7.25 million.”
    I was under the impression that with this tag he could negotiate with other teams after this season and that there would be compensation due if he was signed by another team.
    The only other player that has been signed at the DT position that is IMO worth the contract this offseason was Tommie Harris.
    Jim

  9. bobcomu Says:

    I think Big Al will probably have another quality year, barring serious injury that is. I know that it being a contract year last year was a factor in his play, but I also think that he has been a changed man since the Cowboys game two years ago and that that had alot to do with his play as well. If the Titans see fit to offer him what he wants next year I just hope it isnt too late. With that said I totally agree with what they have done with him up until now.

  10. Markus Says:

    I agree with bobcomu…Al is a model citizen now. I can see how he was frustrated with the losing. Since the Titans never really use the tag, it wouldn’t surprise me if they use it again next year on him. They can do it 2 more times. That would put the pressure on Al to sign before his value drops as he ages…I foresee a CB taken in the 1st round next year (Harper is getting older)…
    I am really excited for this season! Dinger is the biggest pickup this offseason! The division is wide open for all 4 teams, so let’s go thumbtacks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Tom Gower Says:

    Just to clarify…
    The non-exclusive franchise tag means that Haynesworth is allowed to negotiate with other teams. If Haynesworth does sign with another team, the other team would owe the Titans a couple first round draft picks based on the amount of the contract (I think it varies based on the compensation, and I’m not sure what the points are). Under the non-exclusive tag, a player gets the average of the top 5 players at his position for the previous year. So, Albert’s tag is based on the 2007 average for DTs.
    Exclusive franchised players can’t negotiate with other teams, but they get the top 5 average for their position for the current year. So, Nnamdi Asomugha gets the top 5 CB average for 2008 if he signs his franchise tag, which I think is about $2M more than he would have received under a non-exclusive franchise tag.
    Aside from the Wilber Marshall thing, offhand I don’t know that a franchise player has ever really changed teams, especially not in a restricted free agent-type offer sheet for draft picks scenario.

  12. JimOKC Says:

    Tom,
    Thanks for the clarification.
    And it wouldn’t suprise me either if he was tagged for next year.
    Jim

  13. Drexel Perry Says:

    Tom,
    Champ Bailey was the Redskins’ franchise player and he was dealt to Denver (along with a second rounder) in exchange for Clinton Portis:
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/football/nfl/02/24/redskins.broncos/index.html
    In a more recent example of a franchise player being moved, DE Jared Allen was traded to the Vikes for a 1st, and a couple of 3rd’s:
    http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d807eb389&template=with-video&confirm=true
    I’d love for Haynesworth to stay beyond 2008, but if that doesn’t take place, maybe the Titans could find a young veteran to trade for (such as a WR) or maybe get a package similar to what the Chiefs received for Allen.

  14. Tom Gower Says:

    Drexel,
    Right. What normally happens is another team indicates an interest in a franchised player, then the two teams work out some sort of deal. Allen and Bailey are two examples; DT Corey Williams, who GB traded to CLE this offseason, is another example.
    I don’t know that any team has ever franchised a player, had another team make the franchised player an offer, then let the player walk in return for the first round draft picks as compensation.
    For more on the Wilber Marshall story, check out this piece. Stupid Buddy Ryan experiment.

  15. Dave Says:

    Does anyone remember when Buddy Ryan punched Kevin Gilbride in the face on national television? That was my favorite Buddy moment by far…

  16. Garland Says:

    Thanks for the explanations. So assuming Al has a good year worthy of top-5 money, the Titans would either sign a long-term deal or franchise him again, right? There would be no reason to just let him walk as a free agent since they could force compensation by using the tag again. Which is why Speck wants the Titans to agree not to do that next year…

  17. Garland Says:

    Anyone know anything about my Austin Peay question above?

  18. Andrew Strickert Says:

    Hey Garland, that info is incorrect. That guy probably saw that the Titans were at APSU two years ago and thought it was always there. Thanks for pointing that out. If I ever happen to see anything he writes again, I’ll have to consider the source.

  19. Garland Says:

    Did you notice where I went to find a good source? Thanks!

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