Haynesworth alongside one small reason he's holding out for a better deal.
This morning, Nashvillests Christy and Morgan referred to Titans All-Everything defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth as a "brat"
for not accepting the team's initial contract offer. As a restricted free agent, the Titans have exclusive negotiating
rights with Haynesworth until February 27th. Thus far they've made one
offer that wasn't close to what Haynesworth says he's looking for; something in the range of the $32 million given last year to Vikings
defensive end Jared Allen.
Not knowing Mr. Haynesworth, I'm entirely unqualified to speak for the man. But I will say this: Not only is he within his right to say "no-thanks" to the Titans, he'd be a fool not to hold out for something better.
Football is played by mercenaries. Unlike baseball or basketball, NFL players rarely have the money in their contracts guaranteed. That's why, whenever you hear of a new free agent signing, you should almost always discount the numbers being thrown around on SportsCenter; six years for $65 million
makes an agent look good, but it doesn't mean a thing if the player blows out his knee and gets cut.
Because of this, and the violent nature of their sport, football players, even more so than other athletes, are under more pressure to get that one Even My Great-Great-Grandkids Will Be Living in a Gated Community
contract. Haynesworth, coming off a fourth-place vote for Defensive Player of the Year, has said as much.
From today's Tennessean
"You want to try and make as much as you can because if you have a
career-ending injury you are out ... and the team sure as heck is not
going to pay you. It's not like baseball or basketball. You want to get
as much as possible.''
Blunt he may be, but brat he is not. Haynesworth is just being honest. If he's expected to risk life and limb for a team that may not honor the contract they offer him, why should he do anything less than hold out for a max deal?