When you look at the list of defensive players that are set to become free agents, one name that would be on the top of the list for many teams looking for defensive help is that of Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. A former first-round pick of the Titans back in 2002, Haynesworth had his biggest season of his career, coming on strong with 40 tackles, six sacks and making life tough on opposing running backs and quarterbacks that ran into him this past season.
His worth shot up even more after suffering an injury that saw him sit for three straight games. The Titans were 6-2 when Haynesworth went down, and without him they lost three straight, losing in weeks 10, 11 and 12 to the Jags, Broncos and Bengals. Haynesworth came back in week 12, and just like that the Titans were back in the win column.
So now the 320 pounder is set to become a free agent and hit the open market. While the Titans would remain the best fit and would like to keep the big man, it will come down to the almighty dollar, and what other teams may offer him. There is a report that there have already been some talks with Haynesworth’s agent, Chad Speck, and the Titans, and that things are actually moving along already.
“I hear really, really good things from him [Speck], and hopefully, we’ll get things worked out. We’re talking a little bit, so I think that’s a good sign,” Haynesworth said in the Nashville City Paper. “I’m going to still be here and working out with the team and stuff like that. I’m going to do my part and let the people I hire do their part.” The Titans defense in 2007 had the ability to take over games and make huge stops down the stretch. Haynesworth’s presence had a lot to do with that, which is something that was not lost on head coach Jeff Fisher.
“He’s certainly an impact player for us. He had a lot to do with the (6-2) start,” Fisher said. “As I’ve said numerous times, his unavailability probably contributed to that difficult stretch we experienced.” So how will this saga play out? It’s a good sign for the Titans and for Haynesworth if he truly wants to stay in Tennessee that the two sides are already talking. With a full month and a half to go before the start of free agency, getting Haynesworth locked up long-term is right at the top of the list for the Titans. As well it should be.