All-Pro defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has not signed a contract with the Tennessee Titans.
The Titans chose to designate Haynesworth as its franchise player instead of signing him to a lucrative, long-term deal. As of today, Haynesworth has not signed the one-year contract offer which would pay him $7.25 million this season (source).
The lack of a contract for Haynesworth figures to be the biggest distraction for the Titans going into training camp.
Haynesworth was the Titans defensive MVP in 2007. He was the lynchpin for a defense which was ranked fifth in the NFL. He had six sacks and 40 tackles in 13 games. The Titans lost each regular season game Haynesworth missed last season.
So why haven’t the Titans resigned Big Al?
Is it his outspoken nature? Is the team afraid to commit to the player who stepped on Dallas Cowboy Andre Gurode’s neck during a game in 2006? Or does the team not want to give big bucks to a defensive tackle?
Or, perhaps, the Titans see Haynesworth as an injury risk.
Albert Haynesworth has only played one full season. During his rookie year in 2002, he played 16 games and started three. The most games he has played in a season is 14 (2005).
Perhaps what the Titans want to see is not whether or not Haynesworth will repeat the Gurode incident. Team management might want to see if he can stay healthy for a full season.