Albert Haynesworth: Washington cost him his “passion for football”


Albert Haynesworth was happy to take the money. But in hindsight, he wouldn’t have taken it from Dan Snyder.

The former defensive tackle, who was known as differently motivated during his playing career, wrote a first-person letter to his younger self for The Players Tribune in which he admits regrets over taking the $100 million contract Washington offered in 2009, saying: “You will lose your passion for football in Washington, and it will be impossible to get back.”

“If nothing else, listen to me on this, Albert: Do not leave the Tennessee Titans,” he wrote (such that players write for themselves there). “Your defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is a mastermind. No matter how much I tell you this, you’ll probably never realize it until your career is over, but it’s true. You’re like a system quarterback. You thrive in a very specific scheme.”

Haynesworth also said the Buccaneers offered him a $135 million deal, but called the contract a “huge burden,” saying: “Take less and stay in Tennessee where you belong.”

Haynesworth suggests that he was dismayed when then-coach Mike Shanahan asked him to clog up the middle of the field rather than rush the passer as he had done with the Titans.

“You’re going to look at this famous NFL head coach in total disbelief and say, “You want to pay me $100 million to grab the center?” the letter read. “And he’s going to say, with a straight face, “Albert, if you have more than one sack this season, I’m going to be pissed.”

“The last thing you’ll say before walking out of the office is, “Can’t you just pay someone $300,000 a year to do that?”

The piece also mentions the fact that much of that money was gone, blaming an unscrupulous financial advisor. But it also portrays a player who now realizes the grass isn’t always greener, years after he took all the green.

69 responses to “Albert Haynesworth: Washington cost him his “passion for football”

  1. I take anything Albert Haynesworth says with a grain of salt.

    But, let’s face it: the stories coming out of the Redskins circles are pretty consistent – and it’s not a rosy picture. Probably not a fluke that the win/loss record also matches the overall message.

  2. Asking a potential employer about your job responsibilities should be high on the list BEFORE signing the contract. I’ll be honest though, a $100M might make me reconsider clogging up the middle where I work (education).

  3. Why couldn’t you have found it in New England. I remember watching him during the season ticketholders practice and going ‘this isn’t going to work.” You and Ochostinko. Man, I wish I had 1/3rd the talent both of you had.

  4. Well this is funny. Redskins fans will bash Haynesworth again over this while simultaneously using his words as a way to defend RG3 because it’s all Shanahans fault right.

    Jason Hatcher is the best player on the Skins defense.

  5. As a Titans fan who watched him play game in and game out for several seasons, trust me, the only thing this guy ever got passionate about was payday. … In that regard, it’s safe to say the Redskins made him more passionate than anyone else out there … ANYONE.

  6. “You will lose your passion for football in Washington, and it will be impossible to get back.”

    How does RG3 feel about his statement?

  7. So fat Albert doesn’t want to clog the middle for 100 million? You don’t even want to know what I would do for 100 million. Maybe you couldn’t find your passion because it fell in the batter and you deep fried it and ate for breakfast….. slob.

  8. Hey, he may be a dope, but you’ll realize there’s something to what he says if you ask the average honest Washington NFL fan if that franchise’s actions in the last several years hasn’t also caused them to lose some of their passion for football.

  9. differently motivated

    Interesting choice of words. I’d put it at indifferently motivated.

  10. Can he just be gone, no one cares about him, he can go and spend his millions ohh i forgot the often used “my finacial advisor yada yada..

  11. No sympathy for him at all. As for the financial advisor, he still works for you and that’s your job to make sure he does his. Unless you didn’t care he was blowing your money.

  12. “If only I’d been allowed to coat him in Vaseline and axle grease. To stay warm.” – Mike Shanahan

  13. Oh please, he lost motivation because he got the payday of the century. Period. Didn’t care about anything related to football after that.

  14. LOL WUT? oh Albert, you still live in NoVA, i see you all the time. getting arrested all the time. if washington killed your drive to play football, im sure you wouldn’t enjoy living in this place as much as you do. Your drive for football died the season before you left the titans.

  15. I can’t think of many things I wouldn’t happily clog for $100m.

    I still remember the play where he fell down and just didn’t bother moving for the rest of the play.

  16. it’s always a red flag when a player choose money purely over a better situation.
    i.e. Carmelo Anthony

  17. I’m not an Albert Haynesworth apologist but what he said sounded plausible and truthful. We all make mistakes but it takes a real man to own up to them. Good for you Albert and continued success in your post football career

  18. Maybe he should also go back in time and write the Redskins a letter as well…

    “I know you’ve thrown lots of money at lots of big names in the past, but giving a POS like me $100 million is just plain stupid”

  19. I know a lot of people who left the company I work at for more money elsewhere. Almost all of them aren’t even at the company that they left for anymore and are stuck in a rat race. Now they are constantly in search for that “higher title, higher pay and more happiness” at whatever company will give it to them.

    That’s the American way lately it seems. Nobody is ever happy with what they have. They constantly need something bigger in pay and title thinking that will make them happier and make their life better. I’m glad I never got into that rat race.

    Point being, this sounds like it happened to Albert.

  20. You’ve gotta be F’n kidding me!!! So his $100,000,000 contract was a huge burden?? And now it’s Shanahans fault that he’s a fat, lazy, worthless piece of fly crap?? There are a LOT of examples of players changing teams and schemes and doing just fine, it’s called EFFORT, something fat Albert would know nothing about. For me there’s one play that perfectly defines, summarizes, and memorializes fat Alberts career…I don’t remember who the Redskins were playing that day, but I’m sure that almost everyone and their mother remembers the play I’m talking about…AH is half-assedly trying to get to the QB, gets tripped up and falls on his face, then just LAYS there for a good five seconds without even TRYING to get up, and all the while the QB is going left, then right, then left, etc., scrambling around, trying to find an open receiver, and as soon as he finds one and let’s the ball go, then, and only then, does fat AH start getting up off of the turf. Aside from dirty cheap shots that was the most disgusting display of laziness, apathy, and indifference I’ve ever seen on a football field. I just simply couldn’t believe what I was seeing. How he ever played another down for the Redskins is beyond me. And now he’s broke, after making well over $100,000,000 in his career?!? Why am I not surprised?

  21. Always seemed to me like he lost his passion for football the day he got his very first professional check. Didn’t see much fire with the Titans and even less with Washington.

  22. I could say many terrible things about this person. I wont, my momma raised me better, just like its obvious whatever trash raised him failed miserably in teaching him to be decent or even human. The trail of lies, debts, broken bodies and noses this filth left really should keep him from ever being in the public eye for any reason other than scorn or as a great example of what not to become.

  23. The Bucs offering Haynesworth the most money reiterates Mark Dominik’s uselessness as the GM for those many years. He left the cupboard completely bare after 5 seasons. The only thing he did well was not tie up the future salary cap, but it’s tough to credit him for that strategy because it came from ownership.

  24. I wonder how much $$$ he has left. It seems like there are a lot of unscrupulous financial advisors out there. When I win the lottery I will have to do my due diligence.

  25. “Unlike you dumb internet trolls, I’m actually glad to see him show remorse about the whole Washington deal”
    The dumb one here is the person that believes he actually shows remorse. Don’t be calling people dumb if your own intelligence has taken the day off.
    A lack of motivation comes from within, not your employer.

  26. theflyingelvis says:
    Jul 6, 2015 3:27 PM

    I don’t remember who the Redskins were playing that day, but I’m sure that almost everyone and their mother remembers the play I’m talking about…AH is half-assedly trying to get to the QB, gets tripped up and falls on his face, then just LAYS there for a good five seconds without even TRYING to get up, and all the while the QB is going left, then right, then left, etc., scrambling around, trying to find an open receiver, and as soon as he finds one and let’s the ball go, then, and only then, does fat AH start getting up off of the turf.


    They were playing the eagles. Vick was scrambling about trying to make a play. I think it was Todd Heremans who was blocking Albert. I remember the play because Todd just stood there for a minute or so waiting for Albert to get up and continue the play but he just lay there so Todd just went off to block someone else.

  27. I remember when Haynesworth yanked Andre Guorode’s helmet off while he was down on the ground and cleated him in the face. Causing Guorode to need 30 stitches.

    I guess if Mike Shanahan’s motivating tactics pushed Haynesworth out of the league. Let’s hear three cheers for Shanny!

  28. I was ready to slam him but I cannot legitimately do that. The format-letter to his younger self-is interesting. And he’s not passing the buck, he’s making a bonafide argument.

    Now, having said that, misspending $35 million of Danny Snyder’s money, how is that a bad thing?

  29. this here is a story about bobby jo, and bobbie sue…….go on take the money and run….

  30. The first year he was with the ‘skins I believe both Brian Orakpo and Andre Carter went to the Pro Bowl. While Albert didn’t have the sacks I attributed their success / resurgence to Albert in the middle. When Shanahan came in, it seemed like Albert wanted to set the rules and Shanahan wasnt going to bend. In the end, Albert was a talented but LAZY guy who blew millions.

  31. The guy also blames his adviser for wasting money…while buying himself a fleet of cars and powerboats. Great idea, spending a fortune on depreciating assets. Also from lawsuits for groping a server and beating up a fellow driver on the beltway from a road rage incident. Seems like he left out some big points that he can’t blame on anyone else.

  32. It is hard to fell sorry for Albert, but I get what he is saying. He probably had a vision that his role would be the same as it was in Tennessee (this would be a logical deduction considering it was why he got paid in the first place), but it wasn’t. I get the disappointment, but it was his job to get that detail before taking the money and also taking into account that he might have a different DC and would me asked to make a change or the same DC, but wanted to implement a different scheme (4-3 to 3-4).

  33. stop blaming the coach! you lost your passion because you got paid and got lazy. for what you were getting paid you shut up and do what they tell you to do and cash the heck.

  34. I’m a 50 year football fan and Alberts’ signing with the Skins makes the Bear’s contract with Cutler look like a great deal!!! That being said, playing in Washington anytime the last 10 years or so would be soul-crushing. I agree with the above comment, however, that big Al should have found out EXACTLY what the Skins had in mind for him before signing!!!

  35. I would take that 100 million-whatever after taxes, deposit it and live off 200K a year.

  36. I guess Big Al must have forgotten he told Redskins teammates he planned to get cut because he had his money. Of course The Skins haters are going to his side because they have irrational hate for them.

  37. If a team is paying you $100M you should do what they want. And if you don’t like what they are asking you to do, then don’t sign the contract. Besides, this guy had no passion for football anyway. The only thing he had a passion for was to be a malcontent.

  38. how exactly does one blow most of 100 million dollars? As a Titans fan since 1998 I hated seeing you go.. after watching you play for the skins,,,,,,, no worries

  39. How embarrassing! You have to be one heck of a LOSER to blame an organization for you laziness after they pay you $100 million. I don’t give a damn if I played for the Eagles, who haven’t won a damn thing I would do what was asked of me, period! If I could earn $100 million for clogging a hole, I’d be the best damn hole clogger there ever was!

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