Redskins Agree With Haynesworth, Sign Hall

Team makes big free agent splash ... again

Friday, Feb 27, 2009  |  Updated 7:13 PM EDT
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Do you think $100 million over seven years for defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is money well spent by the Redskins?

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Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth says his new contract offer is thiiiiiis big.

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The Washington Redskins have agreed with free agent defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth on a seven-year contract worth $100 million. 

An NFL record $41 million of that would be guaranteed, a source told News4's Dan Hellie.  With incentives, that deal could be worth $115 million. 

Haynesworth, a 27-year-old, seven-year veteran, is considered by many as the top free agent available and one of the best defensive players in the NFL. He recorded a career-high 8.5 sacks last season in 14 regular season games. That's more than a third of the Redskins total for the season (24). The 6-foot-6, 320-pound Haynesworth has 24 sacks in seven NFL seasons since he was drated out of Tennessee by the Titans in the first round in 2002.

Haynesworth also had 75 tackles, 22 quarterback pressures, seven tackles for a loss and a team-high four forced fumbles last year, but he comes with some troubling history. Possible downsides: Haynesworth hasn't played a full season since his rookie year because of various injuries. He's been known to take plays off. And he might never live down a five-game suspension for swiping his cleated foot over Dallas center Andre Gurode's face in 2006.

The suspension is the NFL's longest for an on-field act, and Haynesworth also was required to attend anger management sessions. Now, having signed with an NFC East team, Haynesworth will face Gurode twice a year.

Meanwhile, the Redskins also achieved one of their other major offseason goals around the midnight stroke that signaled the start of free agency, agreeing to terms for a six-year, $54 million contract with DeAngelo Hall.  For complete coverage of Hall's signing, click here.

The deal Friday includes $22.5 million in guaranteed money, giving the 25-year-old cornerback his second big payday in as many years. Hall was guaranteed around $24 million in a seven-year, $70 million contract he signed a year ago with Oakland, but he struggled to adjust to the Raiders' man-to-man defense and was waived after eight games.

The Redskins picked him up less than a week later, and he provided a needed boost to a secondary beset by too many injuries and not enough big plays. Hall played in seven games and started the last four, eventually moving ahead of Carlos Rogers on the depth chart.

Hall's five interceptions for the season -- three with Oakland, two with Washington -- were three more than any other cornerback on the Redskins roster. He has a model citizen during his short time in the nation's capital, avoiding the type of temperamental outbursts that prompted the Atlanta Falcons to trade him to Oakland in 2008.

Hall therefore became a top offseason priority, with owner Dan Snyder wanting to work a deal before the cornerback had a chance to test the free agent market. The negotiations with Hall's agents, Alvin Keels and Joel Segal, went to the last minute -- and maybe a little beyond.

With Hall's signing done, the Redskins focused on Haynesworth and Buffalo Bills guard -- and former Redskins draft pick -- Derrick Dockery. Coach Jim Zorn has said the team will be active in free agency this year, a change from 2008, when Washington uncharacteristically made no major signings.

The team also released expensive and oft-injured 33-year-old cornerback Shawn Springs, clearing a cornerback glut and freeing up money to sign a free agent offensive lineman such as Derrick Dockery or Ray Willis. Rogers and Hall are now expected to form the new starting cornerback tandem.

The moves marked a return to form for Snyder, who for much of the decade has won the unofficial NFL offseason title with big-money signings, often negotiated as the clock was striking the midnight start of free agency.

The team was uncharacteristically quiet last year -- no major deals during the entire free agency period -- but an 8-8 season with an aging roster left holes to fill.

It was uncertain whether the Redskins would be able to fit Haynesworth under the salary cap, but the front office spent this month renegotiating several contracts of current players to clear money for the upcoming season. The team also saved money under the cap by releasing linebacker Marcus Washington last week.
 

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