September 27, 2010

Haynesworth: Contract Doesn't Make Me a 'Slave': In an interview with a radio station, Washington defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth said that his $100 million contract doesn't mean he's the team's slave. "I guess in this world we don't have a lot of people with, like, backbones. Just because somebody pay you money don't mean they'll make you do whatever they want or whatever. I mean, does that mean everything is for sale? I mean, I'm not for sale. Yeah, I signed the contract and got paid a lot of money, but ... that don't mean I'm for sale or a slave or whatever."

posted by rcade to football at 08:23 AM - 16 comments

He's got an especially long backbone. It's much longer and heftier than most people's.

But you'd never know it by looking at him because all that extra length is neatly tucked up his ass.

If he wants to go hang out at Wal-Mart, let's grab some yardage and fit him up with a couple of nice blue bibs. He can busy himself stomp testing the youth football helmets over in the sporting goods section.

posted by beaverboard at 08:10 AM on September 27, 2010

Wait, how could someone get to the top level of his profession and remain so stupid?

Oh, right.

posted by Hugh Janus at 08:40 AM on September 27, 2010

No, it doesn't make you a slave. It does mean you signed a contract to play, though.

posted by jmd82 at 10:50 AM on September 27, 2010

Haynesworth is a nice example of a pro athlete who hasn't matured because he was coddled from an early age due to his talent. He's got $41 million guaranteed, so that should be all the F U money he could ever want if he spent it wisely. But what are the odds? He'll probably be scrounging for a new deal after Washington drops him in a season or two and wondering why the offers are so lousy.

posted by rcade at 11:15 AM on September 27, 2010

I understand Haynesworth. When he signed his contract in Washington, they paid him tons of money to play defensive tackle. That's the position he has always played, and he is very good at it. Then, a new coach comes in and wants him to play nose tackle. He stays out of training camp because he doesn't want to play nose tackle. He isn't built like a nose tackle, and that isn't his strength. Finally, Haynesworth caves. He says all the right things and is on board. Shanahan wants to punish him for holding out. So, he makes him do a conditioning test that no one else on the team had to do (even in training camp). It takes him a long time to pass it even though he is in better shape this year (he dropped some weight). Meanwhile, it is not enough for Shanahan to make him take the test. He has to carry on in the media about he doesn't know why Haynesworth can't pass such an easy test, and he must have a headache (when Haynesworth had a medical condition). Then, when the season starts, Shanahan puts Haynesworth (Washington's best defensive player) on the bench and plays him in garbage time or doesn't play him at all. If I am Haynesworth, I am thinking that I don't care how much money someone is paying me, there is only so much shit I'm willing to take. They have to pay me (I'm Haynesworth) whether I play or not, so I'll do what I need to do to get paid. It's not the attitude of someone who cares about his team first, but it has to be hard to care about this team after all the drama.

posted by bperk at 12:11 PM on September 27, 2010

Wait, how could someone get to the top level of his profession and remain so stupid?

( See attached)

posted by Debo270 at 12:40 PM on September 27, 2010

The reason he's the only person who had to take the conditioning test is because he's the only player on the team who skipped the off-season conditioning program. Mike Golic passed the test and some reporters did as well, so it should not have been difficult for Haynesworth to pass it if he'd stayed in shape during the off season.

He has a legit beef for not wanting to move from his strongest position. But there are good ways and bad ways to handle it, and holding out, coming back, moping during games and whining about slavery is a pretty lousy one.

They have to pay me (I'm Haynesworth) whether I play or not, so I'll do what I need to do to get paid.

They have to pay his guaranteed money, but that's under 40 percent of his deal.

posted by rcade at 12:56 PM on September 27, 2010

No, the contract doesn't make you a slave. It makes you a overpaid pain-in-the-ass, but not a slave.

posted by dyams at 01:13 PM on September 27, 2010

bperk, I would some what go along with your sentiment on Haynesworth point of view except the team gave Haynesworth the chance to do something about this back in March when they offered to release him in March if he would bypass his $21 million roster bonus due April 1. If the idea of moving to nose tackle was so repugnant that he could not accept playing under those conditions, then he should have accepted the release and gone to a team that plays the style that he wants to be in. Washington is entitled to get something for the $21 million and the way that Haynesworth is acting is preventing them from doing that. It is not the player's job to decide how they are used, that is is the coach's job, plain and simple.

posted by Demophon at 01:47 PM on September 27, 2010

No NFL athlete would take a $21 million roster cut to switch teams to his preferred position. If Washington is concerned with getting something for its money, it can play him or trade him.

It is not the player's job to decide how they are used, that is is the coach's job, plain and simple.

It hasn't been that plain and simple since NFL free agency began.

posted by rcade at 02:16 PM on September 27, 2010

bperk, I'm betting there is no mention of a specific position in Haynesworth's contract with the 'Skins.

He wasn't signed to play DT or 3-technique or whatever else you want to call it, he was signed to play football. Just like many players before him a change in personnel/strategy means that his greatest value to the team is now in a different role. He didn't have to take the $20M cheque if he didn't want to play NT - it was made abundantly clear to all before that date the 'Skins in 2010 it would be playing 3-4 and Haynesworth's best fit was as NT. From my point of view he is holding the Redskins to their end of the deal without fulfilling his.

He has the size to play NT, he's bigger than Casey Hampton who has done just fine for the Steelers over the years. It's not like the previous 4-3 defensive scheme where he got to play 3-tech made him happy - he complained loudly to the media about how he was being misused, how he couldn't stand another season of this coaching, etc. (and at the time it was a pretty decent D). Basically if he isn't allowed to freelance and do what he wants he pouts and I have no problem with the Redskins calling him on it. If you want the money then suck it up and play.

And Fletcher is the Redskins best defensive player.

posted by deflated at 02:24 PM on September 27, 2010

Wait, how could someone get to the top level of his profession and remain so stupid?

( See attached)

It's a picture of George Bush, right?

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:52 PM on September 27, 2010

Team players do what's best for the team. I think part of Albert's problem is the fact that nose tackles usually get double-teamed and therefore can't pad their stats like a tackle or an end. Can anyone tell us if his contract is heavily tilted toward sacks, QB hits, etc and this move will affect the amount of money he can earn?

posted by Shotput at 04:08 PM on September 27, 2010

Look.. first of all a nose tackle is the same position as tackle u jus line upacross the ball. He is so damn big(fat) I think that's the best position for him anyway. And someone posted he isn't built like a nose tackle, most of the nt's I've seen were big fat guys. He should be ok there, and for 100 million bux he should go out there and play where ever they want him. Over paid babys is all they are. The way he is built, he won't last til the end of the contract anyway. Sooner or later he will slow way down. Then nose tackle is all he can be, just in there to plug up the line. Jus like big pat williams here in minnesota.

posted by singlen8tivedude at 05:27 PM on September 27, 2010

His complaint about being a nose tackle is that effective players at that position are short and stubby. He is 6'6". Here is more about it.

posted by bperk at 06:30 PM on September 27, 2010

His complaint about playing nose tackle is more likely that he has not figured out how to play a "2-gap" technique. In the 3-4 defense, each of the 3 tackles has to play straight up on the man opposite (center, guard, tackle), and when the ball is snapped, quickly react to the blocking scheme and move into one of the gaps. This results in the nose tackle and usually one of the other 2 tackles each absorbing 2 blockers, thus freeing up the inside linebackers to react to a runner or rush the passer. It also helps the outside linebackers to gain an easier lane to the passer or to get to the edge in order to turn an outside run back to the inside. Life is much simpler in the 4-3, where the defensive linemen are generally supposed only to move straight ahead and penetrate to the backfield. The 4-3, or 1-gap technique, is generally considered the easier to play. His being 6-6 should have little to do with it, and can actually be an advantage when the opposition attempts to pass over the middle. His hands coming up in the middle will knock down a lot of passes, since on a short route the quarterback must keep the ball down in order not to overthrow.

posted by Howard_T at 09:24 PM on September 27, 2010

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