The Buccaneers made a serious effort to sign Albert Haynesworth when the defensive tackle was a free agent in 2009, but Haynesworth wound up signing with the Redskins.
We all know how well that worked out. Haynesworth is now in Tampa after getting cut by the Patriots and claimed on waivers by the Bucs and he said Thursday that he feels he should have been there all along. So why didn’t he sign with the Bucs as a free agent?
“It was too pretty, too much water, too much sun here, and I’d just bought a big nice boat, a good fast boat, and I really felt like if I came here I’d mix my time in with football and boating,” Haynesworth said, via Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune. “When I was in Tennessee, during football season I did the football and during the offseason I did the boating and did all my toys and played around and everything like that. But I figured with the water and the sun being here all year round I was a little afraid of myself on a Tuesday or something like that going for a boat ride. I should have trusted myself and known, but I was really kind of scared of that.”
And here we thought Haynesworth meant that he should have signed with Tampa because they play a defensive scheme that’s a better fit for his skills.
That explanation probably won’t do much to quell any concerns that Haynesworth’s level of motivation is too low for him to be an effective player for the Bucs this season. Haynesworth did talk about the return to the 4-3 system that he thrived in with the Titans, saying he looked forward to having a chance to “wreak havoc,” but after two-and-a-half underwhelming seasons it remains to be seen whether a simple change in system will be enough to turn things around. After all, it was just a few months ago that Haynesworth was talking about the move to New England being a career saver.
The old saying is that the third time’s a charm. The Bucs are hoping that’s true.