NFL: Redskins sign Haynesworth
WASHINGTON ó Moving swiftly in the first hours of free agency, the Washington Redskins opened their deep pockets and snagged the biggest name available: Albert Haynesworth.
The Tennessee Titans’ All-Pro defensive tackle agreed Friday to a seven-year deal worth about $100 million, including an NFL-record $41 million in guaranteed money. The Redskins, known for their expediency in such matters, scheduled an afternoon news conference for their latest marquee signing.
Haynesworth’s deal came shortly after another Redskins blockbuster: a six-year, $54 million agreement to re-sign cornerback DeAngelo Hall. The team also planned to release expensive and oft-injured cornerback Shawn Springs.
The moves marked a return to form for Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who for much of the decade has won the unofficial NFL offseason title with big-money signings, often negotiated as the clock was striking the midnight start of free agency.
The team was uncharacteristically quiet last year ó no major deals during the entire free agency period ó but an 8-8 season with an aging roster left holes to fill.
Haynesworth, a stout, sack-producing interior lineman, is just what the Redskins have needed. He had a career-high 81/2 sacks last year, more than one-third of Washington’s team total (24). The 27-year-old lineman is 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds and has 24 sacks in seven NFL seasons since the Titans drafted him in the first round out of the University of Tennessee in 2002.
Haynesworth also had 75 tackles last year, plus 22 quarterback pressures, seven tackles for a loss and a team-high four forced fumbles. Possible downsides: He hasn’t played a full season since his rookie year because of various injuries, he’s been known to take plays off, and he might never live down a five-game suspension for swiping his cleated foot over Dallas center Andre Gurode’s face in 2006.
The suspension is the NFL’s longest for an on-field act, and Haynesworth also was required to attend anger management sessions. Now, having signed with an NFC East team, Haynesworth will face Gurode twice a year.
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