Ashburn, Va. One of the biggest free agency flops in NFL history came to an end Thursday when the Washington Redskins shipped Albert Haynesworth to the New England Patriots for a 2013 fifth-round draft pick, relatively meager compensation for a two-time All-Pro with one of the most lucrative contracts ever signed.
The trade was confirmed by a person familiar with the deal who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither team had formally announced the trade.
The move rids the Redskins of a two-year distraction who did little to justify his standing on the field and was in constant legal trouble away from it. Haynesworth played in only 20 games in Washington, recording 6 1⁄2 sacks. Last year, he constantly feuded with new coach Mike Shanahan and was suspended for the final four games for conduct detrimental to the club.
The deal also completes the second half of a much-needed task for Shanahan in the compressed few days between the end of the NFL lockout and the start of training camp. The two big-name malcontents from last season — Donovan McNabb and Haynesworth — are gone, just in time for the players’ official report date Thursday. The Redskins worked out a deal to trade McNabb on Wednesday, sending him to the Minnesota Vikings for a sixth-round draft pick in 2012 and a conditional sixth-round selection in 2013.
Haynesworth was guaranteed a then-record $41 million in the seven-year, $100 million contract he signed in the early hours of free agency in 2009. On the same day, he infamously declared: “You’re not going to remember Albert Haynesworth as a bust.”
But he’ll be chronicled as just that — the biggest free agency mistake in Dan Snyder’s 12 years as Redskins owner, quite an achievement considering the money Snyder overspent on underachievers such as Deion Sanders and Adam Archuleta.
Now Haynesworth is headed to the Patriots to play for another controlling, Super Bowl-winning coach, Bill Belichick, who has a new reclamation project to undertake.
Receiver Randy Moss and running back Corey Dillon are among the players who found new life in New England after their careers appeared on the wane.
“He’ll see how we do things around here, point blank,” New England defensive lineman Vince Wilfork said. “We had guys come through here with a rap sheet and (people) say he can’t be handled, this guy can’t do this and, you know what, it worked out fine for us. So I don’t think it will be a big problem.”