This is quite some news to wake up to in the morning. The Patriots are shipping a 2013 5th rounder to Washington for DL Albert Haynesworth. Haynesworth is a 30 year old, 6'6, 335 lbs defensive lineman who was considered "the most dominant defensive tackle in the league" according to Wikipedia. In his first season with the Redskins', in their 3-4 defense, he piled up four sacks to go with five passes defended. Haynesworth is also notorious for completely shutting down when he's unhappy with his role- and specifically, his role in the Redskins' 3-4 defense.
Haynesworth has to change his attitude if he wishes to thrive with the Patriots. However, there are certainly some important points to look at before judging this trade:
1. A 2013 5th round is the equivalent to a 2012 6th rounder, which is the equivalent to a 2011 7th rounder. Keep that in perspective as Haynesworth was picked up with the equivalent cost of a Brandon Deaderick. I'd call that a steal.
2. When Haynesworth was playing in the 3-4 defense, he did well. However, the trick is to get him to play. Fact is, Haynes can be dominant in the 3-4 if he chooses to do so and that makes him worth the gamble.
3. Bill Belichick is happy with the state of the locker room. There's no way that Belichick makes this move if he believed that Haynesworth could have a negative impact on the younger players. I believe that Vince Wilfork will be able to push Haynesworth to do the right thing and that the younger players have been in the system to know who they should follow- and they've also watched the Haynesworth activities from afar.
4. The Patriots played in their sub-defense 57% of the time last year, according to Pats Propaganda. That means that Haynesworth adds value on at LEAST 50% of the snaps, never mind the potential impact a happy Haynesworth can have on the 3-4 side of the defense.
5. Haynesworth just wants to rush the passer. I think that could be one answer to our pass rushing woes. Also, Haynesworth has the ability to be a Haloti Ngata type player next to Wilfork on the defensive line. He could also be the solution to the Right Defensive End spot. As long as he's allowed to use his talents to disrupt plays in the backfield and not asked to man the point like Wilfork, Haynesworth will be happy and productive.
Now there are still questions surrounding Haynesworth's personal life (he's been called for sexual assault and has trial in August), as well as his ability to show up to camp in shape. However, I believe that a 2013 5th rounder is a small price to pay for a potentially large payout.
In other news, keep an eye out for more action later today. Fingers crossed.