Albert Haynesworth to the Patriots

Washington Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth (L) walks off the field during the third day of their NFL football training camp in Ashburn, Virginia July 31, 2010. According to the website washingtonpost.com, Haynesworth did not take his third attempt to pass a team conditioning test today, and will rest his legs before attempting the test again August 1. Man on right is unidentified. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Like Mike Florio, I like this trade (not yet confirmed) for both teams.

As Florio points out, people will give Bill Belichick the benefit of the doubt. Other teams would likely be criticized for taking on this head case.

That said, Belichick will likely use Albert Haynesworth properly, avoided the idiotic showdowns in Washington where defensive offensive “genius” Mike Shanahan tried to make this elite interior pass rusher into a hole-clogging nose tackle.

As resident Patriots homer expert Rosenthal points out, the Pats use a 4-3 front roughly half the time. Thus, Haynesworth likely will be a part-time player, but he possibly will be in the alignment he prefers 100 percent of the time that he’s on the field.

And while there’s no way he’d be asked to play the nose tackle position in New England’s 3-4 alignment, thanks to the presence of Vince Wilfork, Belichick surely wouldn’t expect Haynesworth to be a traditional lineman-occupying presence at defensive end in that formation. That’s where Belichick’s brain becomes important. When a player doesn’t like a certain type of system, it’s because he doesn’t play as well in that system. So instead of forcing Haynesworth to eat his brussel sprouts, Belichick will find ways to let Haynesworth get the most out of his talents. Who knows? Maybe that will mean periodically lining him up on the edge in obvious passing situations and letting him maul a tackle one-on-one and chase down the quarterback.

Belichick understands the concept of calculated risks. His team needs a pass rush, and this move makes sense.

Meanwhile, the Redskins are looking for a fresh start, so this helps. We haven’t seen them break the bank yet with idiotic free agent signings, so maybe new GM Bruce Allen might be taking control from Mr. Ego Daniel Snyder.

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NFL trade deadline passes as teams stay pat

Dallas Cowboys' runningback Marion Barber runs for a first down against the Washington Redskins during the second quarter at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on September 12, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom

As expected, the NFL trade deadline passed with nary a peep from any of the 32 teams. Willis McGahee is still a Raven, Marion Barber is still a Cowboy and as far as I know, Jen is still with Brad. (Come again? What?! When? With who? Home wrecker…)

As Rotowold.com pointed out, the top NFL Insiders (Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen, Jason LaCanfora, Anthony Stalter) were rather quiet all afternoon, which was an indication that no major deals were forthcoming by the 4:00PM ET deadline.

There was speculation by one of the beat writers at the Baltimore Sun that the Ravens might look to trade McGahee. But head coach John Harbaugh insisted that the team wasn’t actively trying to trade their running back and GM Ozzie Newsome backed up those words on Tuesday by keeping McGahee on the roster.

In other running back trade news, the Cowboys didn’t send Barber packing either. Of course, that has more to do with Barber’s salary (he’s due $3.86 million this year and $4 million in March thanks to a roster bonus, then $4.25 million 2011, $5.75 million in 2012, $6.25 million in 2013 and $7 million in 2014) and production (3.4 yards per carry so far this year) than it does Dallas’ desire to hang onto the 27-year-old back. I can’t imagine that if the ‘Boys were offered a decent draft pick that they would say, “No, please, don’t take our ineffective running back with the bloated salary.”

La Canfora said this morning that Albert Haynesworth may be moved before the trade deadline, but nothing transpired. No team was going to meet the Redskins’ asking price of either a first or second rounder for the disgruntled but talented DT.

Are the Cowboys making a mistake by trading Carpenter for Barron?

In wake of the Cowboys’ decision to trade linebacker Bobby Carpenter to the Rams for offensive tackle Alex Barron, Gil Lebreton of the Dallas Star-Telegram writes that the ‘Boys are making a big mistake.

Lebreton (via St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz) points out that Barron has committed 43 false start and 13 holding penalties in 74 NFL starts. He’s also allowed 16 sacks over the last two seasons, prompting Lebreton to write that Tony Romo will be scrambling an awful lot next season. Lebreton also makes the argument that the Cowboys could have gotten more for Carpenter, who could flourish playing in Steve Spagnuolo’s 4-3 defense.

But what Lebreton fails to mention is that Barron isn’t a replacement for Doug Free at left tackle. For better or worse, Free is being counted on as the starter and Barron is viewed more as insurance in case Free (who is inexperienced as a starter) struggles in the early going. Barron also has experience playing right tackle, which is key considering Marc Colombo suffered a fractured fibula during the regular season last year.

Lebreton has a point that the Cowboys probably could have gotten more in return for Carpenter than a lineman that they view as an insurance policy. But general managers aren’t stupid – they know when other teams have given up on a player and they’re not going to overpay. Teams knew that Carpenter wasn’t a great fit for Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense and was likely to be dealt at some point during the offseason. Dallas had a need for an offensive tackle, so it pounced on the Barron trade. Is Barron a good player? He certainly hasn’t shown it so far. But maybe the trade will serve as a wake up call and he’ll elevate his game knowing that he’s now playing for a contender.

Considering this is the same offseason in which Donovan McNabb was acquired for a second round pick, Jason Campbell a fourth and Santonio Holmes a fifth, this trade isn’t as bad as Lebreton makes it out to be. Even if Carpenter turns out to be a Pro Bowler down the road, it doesn’t mean that he would have had the same success in Dallas. Some players just aren’t a fit for certain schemes.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Pete Carroll putting imprint on Seahawks, trades for LenDale White & Leon Washington

One of the reasons Pete Carroll left USC for the Seattle Seahawks in mid January of this year was because he would have the authority to determine how the franchise played football. In other words, Carroll could wipe the slate clean and bring in the type of players and staff that he wanted for his team.

On Saturday, the Seahawks acquired running backs LenDale White (Titans) and Leon Washington (Jets) in two separate draft day trades. In the acquisition of White, Seattle swapped fourth and sixth round picks with Tennessee and also acquired defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson. In the acquisition of Washington, the Hawks sent the No. 138 pick to New York and also received a seventh-round selection in the process.

White has been chopping at the bit to get out of Tennessee and now reunites with the head coach that best found ways to utilize him on the field. While at USC, Carroll used White as his physical, early-down masher and he’s expected to use the running back in a similar role in Seattle.

Many draft pundits thought that the Seahawks would draft C.J. Spiller with one of their two picks in the first round. But after acquiring Washington from the Jets (which was a steal), they got a cheaper player with a similar skill set to that of Spiller. Plus, by not drafting Spiller, the Hawks were able to nab the top rated offensive tackle in the draft in Russell Okung and the second best safety in Earl Thomas. Washington and White should work very well together in Seattle, albeit at the likely expense of Julius Jones.

It still remains to be seen whether or not Carroll can succeed in the NFL like he did at SC, but one thing is clear: he’s going to construct his team the way he wants.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Falcons acquire corner Tye Hill from Rams

Embarrassed by his team’s play in the secondary last weekend in a preseason win over the Chargers, Falcons’ GM Thomas Dimitroff acquired former first round pick Tye Hill from the Rams in exchange for a 2010 seventh round pick.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Hill, a former first round pick by the Rams in 2006, has started 21 of 28 games. He will be expected to compete for one of the starting positions.

Hill entered last season as the starting left cornerback for the Rams. The spot has been problematic for the Falcons since they decided to trade DeAngelo Hall over the 2007 offseason.

Anyone who watched San Diego’s Philip Rivers and Vincent Jackson shred the Falcons last Saturday knows that Atlanta needed to do something to address its secondary issues. While Hill has major injury concerns, he played well in his rookie season in 2006 and has solid coverage skills.

While he isn’t the biggest cornerback, Hill has great speed and maybe a change of scenery will serve him well. He’ll challenge Chris Houston and Brent Grimes immediately and could wind up starting at some point during the first month of the season, if not the Falcons’ opener.

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