Former NFL defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was given an opportunity to resurrect his career when the New England Patriots traded for him during the 2011 offseason. Haynesworth’s former Washington Redskins teammate Chris Cooley is not at all surprised that it didn’t work out.
Last week, Cooley and his co-hosts on ESPN 980 were discussing Gilbert Arenas’ horrible contract with the Washington Wizards. The conversation turned to whether Haynesworth’s six-year, $100 million deal with the Redskins was worse than Gilbert’s $111 million guaranteed contract with the Wizards, and Cooley emphatically stated that he believes it was.
“No question, the Haynesworth contract,” he said, via DC Sports Bog. “Because he was TRYING to get released by the team. His goal was to come here, make a large signing bonus, and then get released and not have to do any of the work. He didn’t care about the back end of that contract. He didn’t care about making all of that money. His idea was, ‘You paid me for what I did in the past, and my goal is to be released as soon as possible and basically take $33 million from you for absolutely nothing.’”
Cooley said he is certain Haynesworth just wanted to get a large sum of guaranteed money from the Redskins before playing crappy enough to be released. He was then asked if he believed Mike Shanahan knew Fat Albert was just in it for the dough.
“I don’t know if that was explained to Mike, but that’s obvious to a coach,” Cooley said. “That’s obvious when you’re around a player, that they’re not trying to play for your team. … It doesn’t matter what you got [in exchange for Haynesworth]. They would have released him if they wouldn’t have got anything for him. It wasn’t about getting a pick out of him. It was about a terrible decision to bring in an awful human being into an organization that he’s not going to participate in. You should know that. You should be aware of that.”
If Haynesworth’s attitude was as bad then as it turned out to be toward the end of his career, Cooley is probably right. Injuries can’t be avoided, but you should never invest $100 million in a player who simply doesn’t care. Haynesworth is the epitome of a waste of talent.