The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

The Haynesworth Franchise

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The Jets have seen a big improvement in their offensive line with the acquisition of Alan Faneca, and this will help them as they look to claim a spot at the top of the AFC East. The Falcons are miraculously hanging around the top of the NFC South thanks in part to former Chargers running back Michael Turner. The Bucs stole center Jeff Faine away from the Saints, and this has helped the rejuvenation of their offensive line. And defensive end Jared Allen has done as much as he could to make Minnesota's front four even more formidable - if only he could play quarterback!

But to locate the free agent who's made, and will continue to make, the biggest difference to his team -- well, I'll have to cheat just a bit. Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was given the franchise tag by his team before the 2008 season, and he's certain to meet performance and playing time incentives that will allow him to enter the market uncontested unless Tennessee is able to wrap up a long-term deal.

This is something they should do without hesitation. Haynesworth is not only the most dominant defensive player in the NFL -- he should be in the running for the Most Valuable Player award. No defensive player has won it since Alan Page in 1971, but the 8-0 Titans owe so much of their current success to the amazing Haynesworth, it's tough to know where to begin. The Titans currently rank first overall in Pass Defense DVOA, and that's made easier when you have a member of your front four that commands double- (and sometimes triple-)teams on every play as Haynesworth does. Despite all that extra attention, he has six sacks this season. And Haynesworth isn't just having a "contract year" performance, either - he was just about this good last season.

When he does enter the free agent market after the 2008 season, Haynesworth will find himself at the focus of a great deal of attention, and that's because he's doing more for his team than any other player whose long-term contract outlook has been undecided this season.

By Doug Farrar  |  November 7, 2008; 12:08 PM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Scott and LaBoy | Next: Finding Free Agent Gems

Comments

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What is the possibility, if Tennessee can not resign Haynesworth, that Washington can sign him. Obviously we need someone of that caliber in the middle.

Bienbo

Posted by: bienbo | November 7, 2008 1:27 PM

What is scary is that the Titans and Haynesworth have done all this without their other pro-bowl D-lineman, Kyle Vanden Bosch at full health. As good as they've played so far, the Titans will only get better once they have both a Haynesworth & Vanden Bosch.

Both are dominant against the run & Vanden Bosch gives Tennessee a pass rusher who can reek havoc when Haynesworth is doubled.

Posted by: Matthew | November 7, 2008 3:46 PM

I disagree, Skins are pretty solid in the middle, If Jason Taylor can return %100 then the line should be ready for a couple of years. O-line is aging and needs addressing. Addition of Hall just extended the effectiveness and longevity of the entire secondary, as Springs can move to safety and possibly extend his career..

Posted by: frak | November 7, 2008 3:57 PM

Albert Haynesworth, I don't care how good he plays or how good his stats are, he should be out of football. How can any man or woman as a parent and true sports fan support this guy and the Titans. This guys unforgivable behavior against Andre Gurode of the Dallas Cowboys was just plain evil. My kids and I were at that game, how do you explain something like that to your children, when you're trying to teach them about good sportsmanship? If he can't take getting his butt beat on the field then he should quit. I have no respect for bum, the team or the NFL. We stopped supporting the Titans and burned all of the Titan gear we've purchased. Whats the deal with that team, the antics of "Pac IDIOT Man" and the way the team and the NFL gave him every a slap on the wrist just goes to show and continues to show the NFL and the Titans are not worthy of any type positive recognition and praise, especially Albert Haynesworth.

Oh and for the record, I live in Tennessee, 1 hour outside of Nashville.

Posted by: Joseph | November 8, 2008 8:39 AM

You seem like a toolbag.

Posted by: Tim | November 8, 2008 4:08 PM

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