Would the Lions be interested in Haynesworth?

According to NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora, the Redskins are willing to “unload” defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth after unsuccessfully trying to trade him to Philadelphia as part of the Donovan McNabb deal. Apparently, Haynesworth didn’t make a good impression on new head coach Mike Shanahan, so the Redskins are ready to part ways with the massive DT, even though he just signed a seven-year, $100 million deal with Washington in 2009.

Canfora writes that several executives believe the best and most likely option for Haynesworth is Tennessee, “where he played his best football and where he remains close with defensive line coach Jim Washburn.” The problem is that Haynesworth signed for $42 million in guaranteed money and other teams will be hesitant to put a bullet in their financial situation in order to acquire him. (Apparently other owners aren’t like Daniel Snyder, who gives away money like it’s Skittles.)

While a return to Tennessee does make sense, I wonder why Canfora didn’t mention Detroit as another possible landing spot for Haynesworth. Lions’ head coach Jim Schwartz built his defense around Haynesworth in Tennessee and Detroit needs a DT seeing as how they’ve been linked to Ndamukong Suh at No. 2 in this month’s draft. If they acquired Haynesworth, then they could use their first round pick to address their need at offensive tackle.

Of course, there are two major issues with my Haynesworth-Detroit scenario. The first is figuring out what the Lions would have to give up in order to acquire him. They wouldn’t part with their first round pick, but would Washington be willing to take the Lions’ second round pick? Would the Skins be willing to swap first rounders (they select fourth) with the Lions and maybe a mid-round selection for Haynesworth?

The problem with swapping first rounders is that the Lions and Redskins both have pressing needs at the offensive tackle position. So if Detroit swapped places with Washington, there’s a possibility that the Skins would take Oklahoma State product Russell Okung at No. 2 and leave the Lions in a bad spot at No. 4. (Of course, the Redskins could also take Suh at No. 2 in order to fill their need at defensive tackle.)

The second issue is that if the Lions acquired Haynesworth, they’d have to figure out a way to pay both his salary, as well as the salary of whomever they selected at No. 2 (or No. 4). That’s a crap load of money to be wrapped up in two players.

I’m getting ahead of myself here, but if the Redskins truly are willing to part with Haynesworth, then the possibilities are endless.


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