Do you want to know a secret?
Do you promise not to tell?
The Titans don't need to resign Albert Haynesworth. And they probably shouldn't.
Now, I have read what a lot of message board fans of our beloved team are thinking: "YOUR A MORON ALBERT IS THE BEST!!!! HE IS THE KEY TO OUR DEFENCE!!! WE HAVE TO SIGN HIM HE IS THE KEY TO OUR DEFENSCE!!!"
Look, this was true in 2007. When Big Al wasn't in, our defense was not the same. We gave up chunks of yardage in the run game without him in, and this was well documented in Football Prospectus 2008. But this year....
This year was different. They played absurdly well on defense as a team. They plugged in undrafted free agents, rookies, late round draft picks from Winston-Salem and it didn't matter. Their sack artist from 2007, Kyle Vandenbosch, missed much of the season and produced 4.5 sacks, and they STILL had a killer pass rush.
The point is, due to the past few years of good drafting by Mike Reinfeldt, the Titans are loaded with defensive talent, especially on the Defensive Line, where you can never have enough players.
Believe it or not, there are concerns with Albert Haynesworth not just related to the absurd amount of money he will command on the free agent market. Do people really forget what Big Al was before the 2007 season? It seems so.
Let's remember, this guy was an underachieving, lazy player who didn't get along well with teammates and was the butt of a lot of jokes regarding stomping on the neck of fellow human beings. Then his contract year (surprise surprise) he turns into a beast, being the leader on a defense that spent 2007 carrying the Titans to 10 wins and a playoff birth. Then they franchise him and PROMISE him if he reaches certain numbers and incentives they will not franchise tag him, thus providing him the extra motivation needed to have another stellar year. Which he did. He played wonderfully. And as a fan, I had a blast watching it. But it is weird when you motivate people with $70+ Million what they can achieve.
It's also weird how people never maintain that same intensity after getting the $70+ Million. The Titans have no guarantee whatsoever that the second he puts his John Hancock on that dotted line for a fat contract he won't go back to getting easily injured, surly, missing 6 games while giving a half effort in the other 10. And keep in mind, in two bigtime motivation money years, he still got injured fairly frequently.
Remember Jevon Kearse. We all hammered our front office when he left for the Eagles. Why didn't we pony up the money? He's a star! He gets sacks! He is the key to this defense! Yet.... they were right. Our front office didn't pay up, he took his $64 Million and then never got more than a few sacks in a season. It took a lot of money off the Eagles cap, they reached NFC Championship after NFC Championship and even a Superbowl and never got over the hump. Dumb, fatass meatball Philly fan blames Donovan McNabb. If I were them, I would blame it on the fact that the Eagles couldn't sign an extra veteran or two to provide depth on their defense or get better WR's. Why couldn't they? Because that money was tied up in Jevon Kearse.
The Titans can't make that same mistake the Eagles did. They can't afford to. And they don't need to. The Titans Defensive Line depth is incredible. If they let Haynesworth go and pick up another DT in the draft somewhere, they will be just fine. If anybody disagrees with me, go sign up for NFL.com's Rewind and re-watch the Week 15 Pittsburgh-Tennessee game. Then get back to me. The Titans had a 2nd round rookie from Eastern Michigan get 3.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.
So, the Titans should offer him what they have in their budget to offer, wait for Haynesworth to decline, and then watch him get completely overpaid by some lower stratus team where he won't be the same player and eventually will become irrelevant, while we continue onwards and upwards building through the draft and stockpiling young, cheap talent. It's what the Patriots do, it's what the Steelers do, it's what the Titans have started and should continue to do.