A history lesson for Albert Haynesworth


A few days ago, while dealing with the boredom of the timeframe prior to the start of training camp, I spent some time reading an interesting article about former Tennessee Titan/current Washington Redskin Albert Haynesworth.

What stood out to me was “Fat Albert’s” not-so-kind words about Titan management. In addition to his frustration over the Titans failing to add an extra $1 million to their offer to him last summer, Haynesworth also made the following statement about the team’s tendency of not re-signing defensive linemen after the completion of their first contracts:

“I lasted longer than any defensive linemen that’s ever played for [Tennessee coach] Jeff [Fisher],” Haynesworth said. “They want to pay offensive linemen all this money, but they think they can just get by on the defensive line. That’s fine, that’s their business. Whatever…

In light of Albert’s “angry” words, let’s take a look at how the team has fared as a result of their decisions to allow promising defensive lineman to venture to greener pastures.

In the article, Albert specifically mentions five D-linemen who were allowed to leave after their first contracts expired: Jevon Kearse, Carlos Hall, Travis LaBoy, Antwan Odom and John Thornton.

For today’s history lesson, let’s take a peek at their performances since leaving the confines of Nashville. 

Jevon Kearse

After accumulating an impressive 47.5 sacks during his first five years as a Titan, Kearse fled to Philadelphia courtesy of a lucrative free agent contract extended to him by the Eagles.

In four frustrating/injury-plagued seasons playing in the “City of Brotherly Love”, Kearse’s sack production fell dramatically, as he took down opposing quarterbacks only 22 times during that time span.

Carlos Hall

Filling in for an injured Kearse, Hall broke out as an unheralded rookie in 2002 with his eight-sack performance. After five and a half more sacks combined from 2003-2004, Hall was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Failing to live up to his promising start, Hall only accumulated a measly one sack since his departure from the Titans.

Travis LaBoy

Injuries and inconsistency plagued LaBoy during his first years in the league with the Titans. Despite his penchant for getting after opposing quarterbacks, a variety of different ailments prevented him from reaching his potential in Nashville.

After a six-sack performance during a contract year, in 2008, LaBoy’s dreams of free agency wishes were fullfilled by the Arizona Cardinals. Unfortunately for Travis, injuries plagued him last year and earlier this offseason, the Cardinals released him.

Antwan Odom

Odom had his best season as a Titan at the right time in 2007, notching eight sacks and establishing himself as one of the premier defensive ends on the free agent market in 2008. Odom’s parlayed his impressive contract-year performance into a lucrative new deal with the Bengals.

In his first season in Cincy, Odom amassed a total of only three sacks. That’s an extreme lack of production for a guy who signed a five-year deal worth close to $30 million.

John Thornton 

Last but not least, Thornton is the only guy on this list who has had a rather solid career since departing Nashville. He’s been a steady presence on the Bengals’ defensive line since arriving there in 2003.

So you see, Albert, allowing the likes of Odom, LaBoy and Hall to leave weren’t exactly bad decisions by your former employer.

Don’t get me wrong: Haynesworth is a rare talent who will be missed by the Titans. The cat-like quickness of a man of his stature and his sheer power will be hard to replace.  

However, as the aforementioned list of defensive linemen who failed to get second contracts in Nashville indicates, the Titans have continued to produce solid defensive lines despite missing the presence of the guys who have left.

Therefore, instead of using the likes of Odom, LaBoy and Kearse as a means of venting his frustration towards the decision-making of Titan management, Albert needs to do what it takes to avoid following in the footsteps of many of the former Titan defensive linemen who quickly realized that the grass wasn’t greener on the other side.


14 Responses to “A history lesson for Albert Haynesworth”

  1. Morgan Says:

    Good luck over there in land of Skin, Fat Albert. We got everything we need to make our D line great, and that mans name is Jim Washburn. Fat Al was such a exceptional talent and it still took him 4 years to get great under the direction of Washburn. I see a half season player leaving for more than QB’s should be paid. Good luck Fat Al, you almost overstayed your welcome.
    One of the bad things is that if Haynesworth can stay healthy this year he has a great line around him that will help him out. With the addition of Orakpo, the D line in Washington is solid. If he stays health he will have a good season and say i could have done this in Nashville if they paid me money.

  2. JoshC Says:

    Personally, I think the Titans are better than most teams in the league about determining a player’s value, and not paying more than that. Some teams are just willing to pay any amount of money for top talent, even if the value isn’t there.

  3. TheThurgodMarshl Says:

    Titans are a testicleless group of bytches, from an overall piss poor state, with a lack of money and intelligence. Fat Al left for a market that pays more and has more exposure.

  4. BurheadTitans Says:

    The Titans are cap savvy and with Mike as GM sticks to a price range for a player and doesn’t go above it. If a big free agent doesn’t sign so be it we’ll just fill in with quality rotational players and be able to get the same production. There is no way Albert was going to stay in Nashville when the ‘Skins were talking to him long before free agency started. The league was seeing the motivated Albert that wanted the big bucks, we saw the Albert of his first five years in Nashville; the unmotivated, injury prone, and all around lazy player. One thing that never concerns me with the the Titans is that we always manage to replace offensive and defensive linemen because of the best line coaches in the game in Mike and Washburn.

  5. Tom Gower Says:

    First question Albert needs to answer: could the Titans have re-signed the player?
    1. Jevon Kearse: No. The Titans barely had enough money in 2004 to make it through the season-Kearse couldn’t have gotten his payday until 2006 at the earliest.
    2. Carlos Hall: No. The Titans were probably even more hard up against the cap in 2005 than they had been in 2004, and the Chiefs could have constructed an offer the Titans wouldn’t have been able to match.
    3. Travis LaBoy: Yes, the Titans could have retained him. The Titans put a number on him, and Arizona paid him more.
    4. Antwan Odom: Yes. As with LaBoy, the Titans put a price on him and the Bengals exceeded it.
    5. John Thornton. Probably. It wouldn’t meant having to cut back on another player, but it could have happened. I think the Titans would have welcomed Thornton back much morseo than Odom or LaBoy. But, as I wrote in another post, Reese (not Fish) didn’t really value DTs.

  6. Josh Dhani Says:

    lol fat albert. nice name, i like it

  7. Drexel Perry Says:

    It’s going to be interesting to see how Haynesworth performs in Washington and how the Titans are able to cope with his absence in ’09.
    Good discussion guys and as always, thanks for dropping by to leave your thoughts.

  8. Andrew Strickert Says:

    Albert is incorrect, he didn’t last longer than any other d-lineman who played for Fisher. That honor belongs to Albert’s former teammate Henry Ford, who played 9 years for the team.
    Tom nailed it. Kearse, Hall and Thornton were salary cap casualties and the Titans weren’t able to afford them. Given the cap constraints of the time it was easier to afford young players than veterans.
    Haynesworth could have also mentioned Carter, Fisk, Ford, Evans and Robaire Smith in his rant but didn’t. Carter and Smith, to be sure, were cap casualties. I wonder why Big Al didn’t include them.

  9. bobcomu Says:

    I think Big Al really wanted to stay a Titan, and now that it didnt work out that way he has been feeling the need to try and tear down the organization that was so good to him.

  10. PULL10K Says:

    Fat Albert is a nightmare. He is a guy they spent good money on who loafed for YEARS and had nothing but back stabbing comments to make to the media, never positive comments. Imagine trying to FORCE this fat, unmotivated j@ck@ss to get with the program and magically he becomes a “force to be reckoned with” for ONE season. A contract year. If he wants to compare himself to the freak he should have played like him out of the box. Goodbye bad attitude, overvalued Albert. And yes the numbers show the defense better with him in it. Because he was supposed to be in it. No defense does better when your planned starter is out. Unless you are playing the steelers last year… He just missed a LOT of time therefore you have a way to make a comparison. Get on your knees Fat Albert and thank Dan Snyder for being a rich moron. Now lay back down like the fat dog you really are.

  11. Bob Loblaw Says:

    Sure Albert has a big ego, and why shouldn’t he? I find it amusing that so many Titans fans suddenly think that he’s a jerk and/or think he will fail now that he’s a Redskin. As happy as he is about his big payday, he is also certainly insulted that the Titans let him go so easily. They let him play his way out of the franchise tag when he had absolutely no leverage (don’t tell me that not showing up to training camp is leverage).
    I’m not even sure that time will tell whether the Titans made the right move in letting him go. He has been a rotational player his whole career and can be counted on to miss several games each year. Had they franchised him this year and next, he would have played 50-60% of snaps over the course of the season and played at a high level.
    With the contract he signed, and Jim Zorn’s lack of job security in D.C., I wouldn’t be surprised to see Albert playing 80%+ of the defensive snaps. He’ll likely wear down over the next few seasons. I don’t see him being considered an elite player in 3 years time, but not because he’s lazy – he’ll just be asked to do more than he can which will ultimately shorten his career.

  12. Tom Gower Says:

    Albert’s leverage under the tag wasn’t just not showing up for training camp, it was not showing up until Week 10 (I think), which is all he needed to accrue another league year. Yeah, he’d miss out on some weekly paychecks, but (i) he’d screw over the team by creating an Issue and (ii) he’d still make the franchise tag amount for the weeks he was with the team.
    Signing or not signing Albert was a gamble, and was always going to be a gamble. As a fan, I hope the Titans made the right gamble.

  13. Bob Loblaw Says:

    Seriously Tom, how many guys have actually held out for ten games? I know it has happened once or twice in the past, but not often.
    In other Albert news, not only was he able to negotiate his contract in the first five hours of free agency, but he also had time to discuss how he was going to play the position in Blache’s system:

  14. 1137 Says:

    They gave this guy a second chance, he doesn’t remember the Dallas game and what he did. He’s low class and doesn’t play every down.

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