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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Albert Haynesworth Era Comes To A Predictable End In New England

I won't lie to myself or you the reader and say that I thought Albert Haynesworth was suddenly a changed person when he put on a Patriots uniform in August.

What mattered most to all of us was the assumption that he could regain some of his dominant form from years gone by. After a puzzling preseason and lackluster eight games, it was time for the Pats to say goodbye to a guy who clearly doesn't give a shit about anything. Today, they released him.

New England was basically Haynesworth's last chance to show the NFL that he had something to offer and he wasn't done. I'd be shocked if another team picks him up at this point. He had a measly three tackles (2 solos, 1 assist) in six games, no sacks, no pressures and no other discernible stat. He might have occupied multiple blockers but who could tell?

Too many times, like on Sunday vs the Giants, he was sitting his fat ass on the bench while the Pats defense continued to live up to its billing as the worst in the NFL. New England head coach Bill Belichick was desperate for playmakers on defense when he surprised everybody by signing Haynesworth over the summer.

For short money, he wasn't much of a risk since if he screwed up or became a problem in the locker room, see you later. Well here we are. As far as I know, he wasn't a cancer (like in earlier times in his career in Tennessee and Washington); he just can't offer anything even to a team as lacking in depth as this one.

The only difference between Haynesworth and Chad Johnson (I'm not calling him Ochocinco until he does something), is that the Pats gave Albert the most basic contract whereas with Johnson, they committed $6 million. For that reason alone, Johnson likely won't find himself unemployed this season even though his play on the field completely warrants it. He's Belichick's boy, that he coveted for years, and Bill is left to hope that Johnson gets it at some point before this season runs out.

In other Pats related news from today (who knew a Tuesday could be so busy?), Dan Gronkowski was released while wide receiver Tiquan Underwood was signed. Underwood, a Rutgers grad, was on the Pats for a few days in the preseason. Who could forget his legendary flat top?

In addition, offensive lineman Thomas Welch was released from the practice squad which means that Ray Ventrone will probably return for the ten millionth time this fall.

Lastly, the Patriots-Colts game in Week 13 (Sunday, Dec. 4 at Gillette) has been flexed out by NBC. It was scheduled to be their Sunday Night Football contest but it has rightly been placed at 1 p.m. This is a no brainer since Indy has already been in a couple primetime games this season. I think America is still recovering from all the vomiting due to those one-sided affairs. For New England, it will serve as their first 1 p.m. start since Week 3 (at Buffalo), believe it or not. Likewise, with the way the Patriots have been playing lately, they're similarly not as deserving of the spotlight.

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