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"The Albert Haynesworth Show" just keeps getting better and better.
(Or worse and worse, depending on where you're watching.)
Not only is the guy siphoning money for nothing from the Washington Redskins (who certainly share some blame in this fiasco, though that's a different story), but now the guy is being sued by a Tennessee bank that claims the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history has failed to repay a $2.8 million loan.
Can't make this stuff up. Apparently, you can't make (or pay) Haynesworth to play in a 3-4 defense, either.
To say that signing Haynesworth to that $100 million contract last year, including $41.8 million guaranteed, may be the worst free-agent acquisition ever would be like saying Redskins former executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato, who gave Haynesworth the deal, may have been incompetent when it came to his post.
Cerrato, who was forced to resign last December to make way for the hiring of Bruce Allen, manages to keep himself in the news with a Washington radio show. Last week, Cerrato weighed in on the Haynesworth debacle by saying "Fat Albert" (my words, not his) would enjoy playing for new coach Mike Shanahan and reminding everyone that "His Slugness" (again, my words) said signing the original deal wasn't about the money.
Cerrato needs to either shut up or just go away. He was owner Daniel Snyder's enabler for the most abysmal run of acquisitions since the free-agency era began in 1993. Come to think of it, the Redskins ineptitude on this front seems like a perfect topic for our FanHouse NFL list of the week.
1) Adam Archuleta
The St. Louis Rams took the strong safety from Arizona State in the first round of 2001. Playing in defensive coordinator Lovie Smith's Tampa-2 scheme, Archuleta got the reputation as the next John Lynch. The Redskins, in 2006, paid him as such, giving Archuleta a seven-year, $35 million deal that included $10 million up front. He was benched after eight games, cut after one season and out of football making workout videos two years later.
2) Jeff George
Snyder bought the team in '99. He fired GM Charley Casserly the year after the team had traded for quarterback Brad Johnson, who threw for more than 4,000 yards, led the Redskins to their last NFC East title to date and went to the Pro Bowl. Enter Cerrato, who brings in the cancer of all QBs -- George got a four-year, $18 million pact -- to back up Johnson. Yeah, right. Snyder wasn't the first to be enamored with George's magnificent arm or the last to be victimized by his petulance. By midseason, Johnson had been benched for George. By late-season, the Redskins were a mess and coach Norv Turner had been fired. Johnson, by the way, was released the following offseason, signed with Tampa Bay and won a Super Bowl.
3) Brandon Lloyd
Though a restricted free agent wide receiver with San Francisco in 2006, the Redskins fell in love with his athleticism and ignored his reputation for being lazy. Washington traded third- and fourth-round picks to the 49ers, then gave Lloyd -- before he'd ever taken an offseason rep -- a $31 million deal with more than $10 million up front. Lloyd started 12 games, caught 23 passes and no touchdowns. The next year, Lloyd caught two passes ... and then was gone.
4) Deion Sanders
At 32 years old, Sanders was released by Dallas and was immediately signed -- get this -- to a seven-year, $56 million deal that included a $8 million bonus. Sanders joined that infamous Redskins dog-and-pony free-agent class with George, Bruce Smith (over the hill) and Mark Carrier (never up the hill), and promptly helped define its underachievement. Though Sanders wasn't awful, he may have been the weak link in the Washington secondary that 2000 season. He was cut after one season.
5) Jeremiah Trotter
Philadelphia cut its emotional team leader in the offseason of '02, with Washington swooping in and signing its former division rival to a seven-year, $35 million deal that came with $7 million guaranteed. Trotter was a nice name, but not a great fit for what the Redskins were doing defensively, and stunted the development of a young and promising Redskins' prospect -- Snyder always prefers big stars to his own up-and-comers -- by the name of Antonio Pierce. In '03, Trotter suffered a season-ending injury. In '04, he was released, re-signed by Philly and played in the Super Bowl (presumably with a lot of Snyder's money still in his bank account).
OK, so enough picking on the Redskins. We could do it for hours.
Here are the five worst free-agent signings, period.
1) Scott Mitchell, Detroit
For those too young to remember, Mitchell took over the Miami Dolphins after a season-ending
2) Javon Walker, Oakland
Despite a career marred by inconsistency, injury and even tragedy, Oakland gave Walker a six-year, $55 million contract that included a whopping $15 million guaranteed in '08. He caught 15 passes that first year, none last year and was released. Now, you just feel sorry for the guy. He was in Denver with Darrent Williams when the Broncos corner was murdered, and that same year, was beaten and robbed at gunpoint at an ATM in Vegas.
3) David Boston, San Diego
Another one-hit wonder who hit the jackpot ... and the juice. Boston had an incredible '02 season in Arizona. His gains on the stat sheet (98 catches, nearly 1,600 yards) were mimicked by his cartoonish ones with his body. Somehow, Boston ballooned to nearly 260 pounds of all muscle and was running in the 4.3s, yet passed tests for performance-enhancing drugs. He got a seven-year, $47 million pact from San Diego on the heels of that big Cardinals year, then the "issues" began to kick in. Boston, three times suspended by teams or the league, kicked around to a few other clubs before falling by the wayside.
4) Larry Brown, Oakland
Thank you, Neil O'Donnell. He's the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback who threw two incredibly lame passes that Brown, then a Dallas cornerback, intercepted to set up big Cowboys touchdowns in Super Bowl XXX, thus setting himself up for a five-year, $12.5 million free agent deal with Oakland. Brown played 12 games in two seasons as a Raider, with just one start.
5) Jeff Garcia, Cleveland
He wasn't a bad player, he was just a bad, bad, bad fit in Cleveland. Garcia, a homegrown NoCal phenom in San Francisco, got a four-year, $25 million deal to sign with the Browns in '04, but the talent in Cleveland -- especially on offense -- was an atrocity. Garcia went 3-7 as a starter, carding a 0.0 rating in one game, and ended that season on injured reserve. Within three years, he'd led two different teams (Philadelphia and Tampa Bay) to the playoffs.