Albert Haynesworth, once considered “the most dominant defensive tackle in the league,” was released by the the New England Patriots earlier today, ESPN is reporting, citing a person with knowledge of the situation.
Haynesworth, 30, was in his first season with the Patriots after being acquired from the Washington Redskins this summer for a fifth-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft. In his six games as a Patriot this season, Haynesworth had recorded three tackles and no sacks.
As SB Nation’s Joel Thorman points out, the timing of Haynesworth’s release is interesting because of an animated conversation the former Pro Bowler had with defensive line coach Pepper Johnson last Sunday during his teams 24-20 loss to the New York Giants.
After a third quarter touchdown run by Giants RB Brandon Jacobs, Haynesworth came off the field and allegedly had a “heated” exchange with Coach Johnson on the sidelines. Following the incident, Albert spent the remaining 20 minutes of the game stationed on the bench.
Although Pats ead coach Bill Belichick brushed off suggestions that the in-game spat led to Albert’s benching, pointing out it was based on defensive rotation instead, it’s possible that Haynesworth’s verbal altercation may have been the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Since Haynesworth’s release comes after the NFL trade deadline, teams will have until 4pm tomorrow to claim him.
To hear ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton’s opinion on why Albert Haynesworth was cut, check out the clip below:
via Boston Herald