American Football Database
Albert Haynesworth
Haynesworth in February 2009.
No. 92, 95     
Defensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1981-06-17) June 17, 1981 (age 40)
Place of birth: Hartsville, South Carolina
High School: Hartsville (SC)
Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) Weight: 335 lb (152 kg)
Career information
College: Tennessee
NFL Draft: 2002 / Round: 1 / Pick: 15
Debuted in 2002 for the Tennessee Titans
Last played in 2011 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Career history
* Tennessee Titans ( 2002 2008)
Career highlights and awards
* Second-team All-SEC (2001)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 15, 2011
Tackles     344
Quarterback sacks     30.5
Forced fumbles     6
Stats at

Albert George Haynesworth III (born June 27, 1981) is a former American football defensive tackle who played in the National Football League (NFL) for ten seasons. He played college football for the University of Tennessee. Drafted by Tennessee Titans in the first round (15th overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft, he spent his first seven NFL seasons with the Titans. An All-Pro selection in 2007 and 2008, and considered "the most dominant defensive tackle in the league",[1] Haynesworth was a highly coveted free agent following the 2008 season. He signed a seven-year, $100 million contract with the Washington Redskins in February 2009, [2] but he played less than two full seasons with Washington and the Redskins' acquisition of Haynesworth has since been widely derided as the worst free agent signing in NFL history.

High school career

Haynesworth was born in Hartsville, South Carolina. He attended Hartsville High School, and participated in football, track, and shotput.[3] Playing under head coach Lewis Lineberger, Haynesworth accounted for 150 tackles, 56 tackles for loss, six sacks, and six fumble recoveries during his junior year; he followed that by tallying 110 tackles, 51 quarterback pressures and six sacks as a senior in 1999.[3]

Following his senior season Haynesworth was named a SuperPrep and Rivalnet All-American, and was also rated the No. 4 defensive lineman and No. 14 overall player in the nation according to ESPN's Top 100, while National Recruiting Advisor rated him the No. 1 defensive tackle in the country.[3] He was a member of the University of Tennessee Volunteers' recruiting class of 1999.

College career

As a student-athlete at the University of Tennessee, Haynesworth was a three-year letterman for the Tennessee Volunteers football team. He lined up at right defensive tackle next to John Henderson. He compiled 66 tackles, five sacks, 31 quarterback pressures, 20 tackles for a loss and nine pass deflections during his career. He earned Sporting News Freshman All-American honors in 1999 and was named Second Team All-Southeastern Conference after his junior season.[4]

Professional career

2002 NFL Draft

Considered "potentially a brutal run-stopper" by The New York Times,[5] Haynesworth went 15th overall in the 2002 NFL Draft, picked by the Tennessee Titans. He was the fourth defensive tackle selected from a draft class considered to be loaded with talented defensive linemen.[6] At Tennessee's Pro Day in 2002, when he was just 20 years old, Haynesworth measured at 6-foot-6, 317 pounds, ran a 4.82 40-yard dash, had a 39-inch vertical jump and an 9-foot, 7-inch broad jump.[7] He did not workout at the 2002 NFL Combine.[8]

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 5⅝ in 317 lb 4.82 s 39 in 8 ft 7 in 39 rep

Tennessee Titans

An incident foreshadowing future incidents with Haynesworth occurred at a Titans training camp in 2003, where Haynesworth kicked his former teammate, center Justin Hartwig, in the chest, then had to be restrained by other teammates.[9]

Stomping incident

On October 1, 2006 in the third quarter of a game against the Cowboys, running back Julius Jones scored on a rushing play. Center Andre Gurode fell to the ground, and his helmet was removed by Haynesworth. Haynesworth tried to stomp on Gurode's head, but missed. A second stomp opened a severe wound on Gurode's forehead, narrowly missing his right eye. The referee assessed Haynesworth with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, to which Haynesworth protested by taking off his helmet and throwing it into the turf; Haynesworth was then assessed an additional 15-yard penalty and ejected.[10]

Gurode later received 30 stitches just above and below his right eye. After the game, Titans coach Jeff Fisher apologized on behalf of the Titans organization to Cowboys coach Bill Parcells. After the game, Haynesworth apologized,[11] saying "What I did out there was disgusting. It doesn't matter what the league does to me. The way I feel right now, you just can't describe it." Gurode later said that he would not seek criminal charges against Haynesworth. He continued to experience headaches and blurred vision as of October 2006.[12]

Video evidence of the play shows Haynesworth bend down towards Gurode prior to his helmet being off and prior to the stomps. Because the view is partially blocked by other players it is unclear whether Haynesworth manually removes the helmet. Therefore, most media outlets reported simply that Gurode's helmet was off. However, hometown columnist Mickey Spagnola[13] of argued that Haynesworth pulled off Gurode's helmet.

On October 2, 2006, Haynesworth was suspended for five games without pay by the NFL. The suspension was only the second multi-game suspension in NFL history for an on-the-field incident, more than twice as long as the previous longest suspension, given in 1986 by Commissioner Pete Rozelle to Green Bay nose tackle Charles Martin.[14] Based on his 2006 base salary of $646,251, Haynesworth forfeited more than $190,000.[14] NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who had only been on the job a month, stated that there was "absolutely no place in the game, or anywhere else" for Haynesworth's behavior. However, ESPN's Mark Schlereth, a 12-year NFL veteran, felt that Haynesworth should have been suspended for the rest of the season. ESPN's Merril Hoge harshly criticized the officials for not ejecting Haynesworth immediately after the stomp.[15] Haynesworth's suspension is the longest for an in-game incident in modern NFL history.

The NFL Players Association initially planned to appeal the suspension, calling it too severe. However, Haynesworth said on October 3 that he would not appeal, after personally apologizing to Gurode in the same day. In a press conference on October 5, Haynesworth apologized to all who watched the game and said he had entered counseling to control his emotions. He also said that he would work with children in the Nashville area.

Haynesworth was eligible to return on November 19 for the Titans' game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Even then, there was no guarantee that he would play. Haynesworth's agent, Chad Speck, told several media outlets that Haynesworth fully expected to return to practice on November 13, and he did indeed report that day. He played against the Eagles on November 19, and recorded one tackle. Fisher told Parcells after the game that the Titans would punish Haynesworth themselves if they felt the NFL's punishment wasn't harsh enough. On the same day as Haynesworth's press conference, Fisher told a national radio show that the Cowboys game may have been Haynesworth's last as a Titan. The team had the option of either deactivating him for the final seven games of the season or releasing him.[16] Had the Titans released him, they had enough room under the salary cap to absorb the $5.5 million they would owe him for 2007.[17]


On September 9, 2007, in the Week 1 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Haynesworth was called for unnecessary roughness when he slammed running back Maurice Jones-Drew to the ground after a tackle.[18] He was fined $5,000 by the NFL for this incident. Afterwards, when asked if he would be gentler during play, he commented, "I'm not going to be any gentler or whatever. Maybe I'll just help them up."

Haynesworth was elected to the Pro Bowl for the first time for the 2007 NFL season. During this season following the stomping incident, he ranked second on the team with six sacks in his 11 games played up to the selection, led or tied for the team-high in total tackles three times that season, and led or tied the team-high in quarterback pressures five times. At the point where the Pro Bowl selection was made, the Titans were 8–3 in games in which Haynesworth started and 0–3 in games in which he did not play.

Haynesworth said of his Pro Bowl selection, "It’s an awesome feeling. It’s kind of a load off my back because I didn’t want last year’s suspension to define my career. It was a difficult time in my life, but I was determined to keep working hard to get to this point and earn the respect of my teammates, coaches and fans." Haynesworth failed to sign with Tenneesse due to the deadline of signing a franchise tagged player.[19]

Washington Redskins

An unrestricted free agent in the 2009 offseason, Haynesworth signed a seven-year, $100 million contract with the Washington Redskins on the first day of free agency, February 27, 2009.[20] The deal was expected to pay Haynesworth $32 million in the first 13 months,[2] included $41 million guaranteed and could have reached $115 million if all incentives were met.[20] Tennessee’s final offer to Haynesworth reportedly amounted to a four-year package worth $34 million total, with about $20 million in guarantees.[21] Haynesworth reported on SIRIUS Blitz that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offered him a $120 million deal that could potentially increase by 20%. He says that he took a discount to play with the Redskins because of their large fan base and media outlet, something that he also did not have in Tennessee.[22] In April 2009, the Titans asked the NFL to consider tampering charges against the Redskins, claiming that the Redskins contacted Haynesworth before the free agency period began on February 27.[23]

From the beginning of his time with the Redskins, Haynesworth presented problems for the coaching staff. He refused to participate in off-season workouts, and arrived at camp in poor physical condition, unable to pass a basic fitness test.[24] He also made it clear that he did not like his place in the team's defensive scheme.[25] After a 45–12 loss to the New York Giants on Monday Night in 2009, Haynesworth questioned the scheme of defensive coordinator Greg Blache, and stated that he could not "survive another season in this system if it stays the way it is."[26]

On December 7, 2010, it was announced that Haynesworth would spend the rest of the season on the restricted list. There had been conflicts throughout the 2010 preseason with Haynesworth and the coaching staff. After a dispute over his absence at a practice in which Haynesworth claimed to be ill, the team suspended him for "conduct detrimental to the club." Coach Mike Shanahan said the suspension followed a refusal by Haynesworth to cooperate in a variety of ways and not only because of the practice absence.[27]

During the 2010 season, Haynesworth had a career-low 13 tackles and just 2.5 sacks in 8 games, leading the NFL Network to name the signing of Haynesworth as the "worst free-agency move of last decade"[28] Many other NFL writers have gone further, calling Haynesworth the #1 worst free agent bust in NFL history.[29][30]

New England Patriots

Haynesworth was traded to the New England Patriots on July 28, 2011 for a fifth round draft pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.[31] He lasted less than four months with the Patriots, and on November 8, 2011 Albert Haynesworth was placed on waivers.[32] This came days after he got into a confrontation with assistant Pepper Johnson on the sidelines.[33]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Two days after being released by the Patriots, Haynesworth was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But he was released after the end of that season, on February 15, 2012.[34]

Legal issues

Arrest warrants were issued against Haynesworth in two Tennessee counties in May 2006 stemming from a traffic incident on Interstate 40. Both sets of charges were dropped in June 2006. The judge in the Putnam County case tossed the charges on the grounds that the alleged offense happened out of their jurisdiction. In Smith County, the district attorney dismissed the charges. In March 2009, Haynesworth was indicted on two misdemeanor traffic charges stemming from a December 2008 car accident in Tennessee.[35] In an accident on Interstate 65, Corey Edmonson was partially paralyzed after colliding with Haynesworth's car. Haynesworth was driving his Ferrari at speeds in excess of 100 mph when he struck Edmonson's vehicle, which struck a concrete barrier.[36]

On June 22, 2010, it was reported that Clayton Bank & Trust was suing the NFL lineman, alleging that Haynesworth had failed to make payments on a loan in the amount of more than $2.38 million. The suit was filed in the Knox County Chancery Court on June 18, 2010. According to papers, Haynesworth entered a commercial loan agreement for the original principal amount of $2,381,688.58 on June 27, 2009. On February 27, 2009 the two parties entered into an Extension Agreement with an effective date of February 27, 2010, according to the suit. The attorney for Clayton Bank & Trust, Hugh B. Ward, Jr., was seeking a little over $2.4 million.[37]

In 2010, Silvia Mena, a stripper from New York, claimed in a $10 million lawsuit that Haynesworth impregnated her and left her with no financial assistance.[36]

In 2011, Haynesworth allegedly threw a punch to the nose of Joel Velazques, 38, of Leesburg, Va. during a traffic altercation[38]

In popular culture

In a response to Haynesworth’s failure to pass the Redskins conditioning test in July 2010,[39][40] the August 27, 2010 edition of The Onion ran the headline (with an accompanying photo), "Report: Albert Haynesworth Just A Mound Of Ice Cream And Hot Dogs."[41]


  1. "Defensive tackle rankings: Nobody dominates like Haynesworth". The Sporting News. May 21, 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Battista, Judy (February 27, 2009). "Paying Top Dollar, the Redskins Sign Haynesworth". New York Times.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "The Vol Signing Class of 1999". Jumpmaster's Vols Page. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
  4. "Five Vols Named to Associated Press All-SEC Teams". Tennessee Athletics. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
  5. Freeman, Mike (March 31, 2002). "Panthers Could Ignore Talented Passers and Select Peppers Instead". New York Times.
  6. Bell, Jarrett (April 18, 2002). "Big, agile defensive tackles at a premium for draft". USA Today.
  7. Rosiak, Todd (April 11, 2002). "Talent pool looks deep". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  8. Pauline, Tony (March 2, 2002). "No startling revelations in Combine's first two days". Sports Illustrated.
  9. Cranston, Mike (November 3, 2007). "Panthers' Hartwig fired up to face former team, Haynesworth". USA Today.
  10. "Titans, Haynesworth fail to beat franchise deadline". Associated Press. July 15, 2008.
  11. "Haynesworth suspended for unprecedented five games". ESPN. October 3, 2006.
  12. "Gurode accepts Haynesworth's apology". ESPN. October 6, 2006.
  13. – News
  14. 14.0 14.1 Battista, Judy (October 3, 2006). "Titan Player Suspended 5 Games for Kicks to Head". New York Times. Archived from the original on August 12, 2011. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
  15. Hoge, Merril (October 2, 2006). "Punishment for Haynesworth not severe enough". ESPN.
  16. "Titans want Haynesworth to return bonus money". ESPN. October 7, 2006.
  17. "Haynesworth may face more punishment from Titans". ESPN. October 5, 2006.
  18. "Titans' Haynesworth fined $5,000 for hard tackle". USA Today. September 14, 2007.
  19. Walker, Teresa M. (July 15, 2008). "No deal between Titans, All Pro DT Haynesworth". USA Today.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Clayton, John (February 27, 2009). "Albert Haynesworth, Washington Redskins agree on seven-year deal". ESPN.
  21. McCormick, Terry (April 9, 2009). "How hard did the Titans work to re-sign Haynesworth?". Nashville City Paper.
  22. "FreezePage". FreezePage. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  23. Titans Ask NFL to Probe Signing ESPN, April 2, 2009
  26. Reid, Jason & Steinberg, Dan (December 26, 2009). "Haynesworth sounds off on Blache, defense after being sent home". Washington Post.
  27. "Redskins suspend Haynesworth 4 games without pay". December 7, 2010.
  31. Farrar, Doug. "Patriots trade for Haynesworth; Redskins left to sell cut-rate jerseys". Shutdown Corner: A Yahoo! Sports Blog. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  32. Reiss, Mike. "Albert Haynesworth analysis – New England Patriots Blog – ESPN Boston". ESPN. Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  33. Jackson, Scott. "The Haynesworth Experiment is Over". Bleacher Bum Sports. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
  35. "Haynesworth Indicted on Traffic Charges". ESPN. March 12, 2009. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  36. 36.0 36.1 "Albert Haynesworth's Lawsuit Is Another Headache for Washington Redskins". Bleacher Report. May 26, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  37. "Albert Haynesworth sued by Tennessee bank". The Washington Post.
  38. "Albert Haynesworth accused in Virginia". February 4, 2011. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
  39. "Albert Haynesworth fails to complete second part of conditioning test". Washington Post. July 29, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  40. "Five worst moments of the Haynesworth era". Washington Post. December 7, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  41. "Report: Albert Haynesworth Just A Mound Of Ice Cream And Hot Dogs". The Onion. August 27, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2011.

External links

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