Really, two million dollars?
By Nick Bishop
There is an interesting article by Jim Wyatt in the Tennessean about the negotiations between the Titans and former defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. Tennessee offered Haynesworth $32 million over four years last off-season. He wanted $34 million. Needless to say he was smart to hold out and accept the franchise tag. There were some very candid quotes by Big Al about the whole process over the last few years that really makes you wonder how it ever even got to this. Good for him, bad for us.
On the first bump in the road in negotiations last year:
"“I was like, ‘I’ll take four years for $34 million’ and they were like, ‘Nope,’ ” Haynesworth recalled Thursday. “I was like, ‘If you move a million here or there I’ll take that,’ and they were like, ‘Nope.'”"
On playing a little hardball of his own:
"“I had clearly discounted myself last year and they still didn’t move,” Haynesworth said. “And that is why I said this year’s there’s not going to be any hometown discount no matter what.”"
A note on a framed photo that Titans owner Bud Adams gave to Haynesworth last season:
"“On the bottom said ‘To the best defensive lineman I’ve ever had in my 49 years of being an owner.’ I would have thought they would want to keep the ‘best defensive lineman’ they’d ever had, but that’s the way it goes,” Haynesworth said."
Some kind parting shots:
"“But I wish them well, I really do. I hope they go to the Super Bowl and unless the Redskins are there I hope they win it. I’ll be pulling for those guys because I have a bunch of brothers on that team and I think they feel the same way about me.”"
When reached, Titans officials declined to address any of Haynesworth’s comments. They probably won’t respond at all. And if two million dollars really was the difference in having him line up for the Titans through the next decade, then they probably shouldn’t say anything. That may be an easy thing for me to say in hindsight, but it’s true. It will be wierd not seeing #92 eat up opposing offenses in the years to come. Or should I say, it will be wierd not seeing him do it as a Tennessee Titan.