There are several good reasons why Albert Haynesworth may re-sign with the Tennessee Titans and there are also several good reasons why he may not. Let’s examine some of the pros and cons.
Why Big Al will re-sign with Tennessee:
1. Albert has said there were three places he would consider — Tennessee, Carolina and Atlanta. These are Big Al’s stomping grounds, so to speak (pardon the pun.) Albert was born and raised in South Carolina, pretty close to Charlotte, the home of the Panthers. He’s also spent a lot of time in the last several years in Atlanta. Of course, he went to college at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville), where he’s also spent a good bit of time, and has spent his entire pro career with the Titans. Going to any other NFL city would be something of a departure from his roots and his comfort level. Albert has expressed a desire to stay close to home.
2. Big Al seems to have some degree of loyalty to the Titans. He really enjoys playing for Jim Washburn and alongside Kyle Vanden Bosch. Not to mention playing with Jevon Kearse and Keith Bulluck. Will he give the Titans the proverbial hometown discount? After all, they treated him pretty well when he was having his problems and I believe the Titans’ willingness to meet most of his desires in their negotiations last summer could be a factor.
3. Albert is a unique player, one who’s one of the few players in the league with the ability to change a team’s fortunes, like a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. He’s worth a gamble. Tennessee GM Mike Reinfeldt has a reputation of being fiscally conservative, and he generally is, but there have been exceptions. Most notable are the huge contracts he gave to Walter Jones and to Shaun Alexander in Seattle. It shouldn’t be a surprise for him to do what it takes to re-sign Albert, if for no other reason than to keep him away from the other AFC South teams, all of whom have needs at defensive tackle.
Why Big Al will not re-sign with Tennessee:
1. Show me the money! While agents are supposed to work for the players they represent, they also have an obligation to get them the best deal possible. Albert’s agent, Chad Speck, will undoubtedly advise him to at least consider testing the waters in the free agent market.
2. I generally don’t write about a player’s personal issues, unless they might affect his play or availability on the field, such as suspensions, etc. Well, Albert is going through a divorce, which may well have some influence on his decision. I don’t know if Albert has a pre-nup agreement with his wife or not, but it could be a very expensive experience. I do know there will be at least one team that will offer him stupid money if he becomes an UFA. If that does happen, I just hope it will be a NFC team.
What’s your opinion? Do you have any more reasons why Big Al may or may not re-sign with Tennessee? Will Albert be wearing two-tone blue again in 2009 and beyond?