Albert Haynesworth just didn't work out in New England. By now, we're all fully aware of this. Right from the start, it was an injury here, a question of health there, and a whole lot of doubt coming from the media and fans.
But was it all (Haynes)worth it? No doubt, it absolutely was.
Haynesworth came to New England as a shell of his former shelf with enough personal baggage to warrant a $10,000 fee on American Airlines. He had personal issues. He was fat. He didn't get along with his last coach and some teammates.
Yet none of that mattered, all because of one man: Bill Belichick.
Belichick was going to save the day, just like he always does (or used to). Those personal problems would be wiped away, and Haynesworth would return to his dominant form that led to him signing a $100 million dollar contract. This would be great - like turning around Corey Dillion and Randy Moss. The Patriots would be back on top of the NFL, once again.
Oops. Didn't work out quite how we all planned it, did it?
Haynesworth did return to form, only it was the post-2009 form. It took him a while to get healthy at the start of the season, and when he did, he wasn't even close to productive. After six game, his stat line looked like this: two tackles.
That was all he did for this team: contribute two tackles. It was clear that this wasn't working, so Belichick decided to pull the plug and give him the standard release treatment, thanking him for his hard work to get back in shape and saying that he just didn't fit into the Patriots system.
In reality, we all knew and saw what happened. Haynesworth didn't take the job seriously, and he was canned because of it. In fact, sources of Shalise Manza Young of The Boston Globe said that Belichick tried to work things out with the big guy but he didn't give enough effort on or off the field.
It's true, Haynesworth didn't pan out. But it doesn't mean it wasn't worth a shot.
Remember, the Patriots acquired Haynesworth for a 2013 fifth-round draft pick. You're telling me it wasn't worth it to kick the tires on Haynesworth to see if he had anything left? If it was a first or second round pick, no, it wouldn't have been. But for a fifth round pick? Seems like a good deal to me.
Here are the last five fifth-round draft picks of the Patriots: Marcus Cannon (2011), Zoltan Mesko (2010), George Bussey (2009), Matt Slater (2008) and Clint Oldenburg (2007). Of those five, none have really made an impact. Three are still with the team - Cannon, Mesko and Slater- and the other two - Bussey and Oldenburg - did nothing.
So you're telling me it wasn't worth a shot to see if Hanesworth, a two-time Pro Bowler, could return to form in exchange for a player that likely would have turned into an Oldenburg or Bussey? Sure it was.
Granted, it was taking a risk, but the Patriots were able to rework Haynesworth contract to make it more team friendly. Haynesworth agreed to restructure his contract to a base salary of $1,500,000 for 2011 with incentives and $6,700,000 in 2012. He was slated to make $30.9 million through the 2014 season, so the Pats saved on him significantly.
Haynesworth just didn't work hard enough, plain and simple. But for anyone to say that trading for him was a huge mistake is off base. If it worked out, this would have been a steal. Sadly, it didn't, and the Haynesworth era is over.