The name itself has been enough to evoke some serious emotion over the years, and now, it'll be stitched onto the back of a Patriots jersey. That has fans feeling a little unsure.
To be sure, fans like that Haynesworth came to New England for essentially nothing, and they almost unanimously think it's a smart, low-risk move.
Still, there's something unsettling about rooting for a guy with such a checkered past. ESPN's Bill Simmons might've summed up it best in one simple tweet.
"Albert Haynesworth is a lousy guy and not someone I'm excited to root for," Simmons wrote, "but that trade was a good gamble for the Pats."
With that, let's get into some of the ups and downs of Haynseworth's professional career, both on and off the field, to help explain those unsure feelings. Because I'm such a positive guy, let's get into the nice parts first.
Haynesworth didn't become one of the biggest names in the league just because he's one of the biggest men in the league. He made a name for himself as perhaps the most dominant defensive linemen in the game in 2007 and '08. He recorded six sacks in '07 and had 8.5 sacks in '08, a period during which the Titans went 23-9 and won the AFC South in '08. He was named The Sporting News' Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.
Haynesworth admitted that he was worried that his stomping incident (we'll get to that later) would hurt his image so much that he wouldn't make any Pro Bowl teams, so he felt honored when he earned a trip to Hawaii in '07. He again earned Pro Bowl honors the following year, and he was named an All-Pro in both years as well.
$100 Million Man
NFL contracts don't always end up paying as much as advertised, but Haynesworth's free-agent deal with the Redskins was the richest in NFL history. It was written to pay him $100 million over seven years, including $41 million in guaranteed money. That's quite the payday.
Nap Time Against the Eagles
When you get paid as much as Mr. Haynesworth, you're expcted to give your best effort on every down. On one play against the Eagles, though … well, Haynesworth didn't exactly look to be giving 100 percent. See for yourself below.
Run, Albert, Run
Conditioning tests in the NFL determine whether you spent the offseason exercising or eating Cheetos. Most pro athletes take care of their bodies, but that was apparently a problem for Haynesworth in the summer of 2010. He failed his conditioning test to start camp, and he refused to take it for the rest of the week, claiming his knee hurt. He ended up getting banned from practice before finally passing his test, but not before it became very clear that he and the Redskins had a very rocky relationship.
Don't Like Mike
Mike Shanahan is among the most well-respected coaches in the NFL … just not by Haynesworth. The two never saw eye-to-eye, and it resulted in Haynesworth being suspended for the final month of the regular season. It's never a good thing when the $100 million man is told to stay off the field by his own team.
If you're a nobody from nowhere, you're still not supposed to get into road rage fights. When you're a millionaire football star? It's definitely the type of thing you want to avoid. Haynesworth's had trouble doing that, though, as he's been accused of driving recklessly and causing another driver to crash, driving 103 mph in a 70 mph zone and punching a driver in the face in a road-rage exchange. The man who crashed his car needed a hip replacement and couldn't move without the aid of a walker or wheelchair.
Sexual Abuse Allegations
Whenever anyone claims sexual abuse, it's a serious situation. So when Haynesworth was accused of sliding his credit card into a waitress' bra and touching her breast, you'd think he'd respond appropriately. Instead, he simply said he "didn't touch her" and that he doesn't "even like black girls." Haynesworth pleaded not guilty, and at last check, the trial will begin in August.
This incident from 2006 is often the first thing that comes to mind when many people hear Haynesworth's name.
It was ugly, no doubt, and even Haynesworth couldn't call it anything but "disgusting." He was suspended five games.
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