Free Agency ……It’s Never Been That Simple

Free Agency ………It’s Never That Simple

It’s remarkable to see that the NFL is nothing more than a business driven machine. But herein lies the problem for many of its players. How do you explain to them that it’s never that simple to simply pursue the money instead of the greater glory of winning ? Far too often that at the height of a player’s career after achieving a modicum of success with one club , he’s then saying that he wants out unless he gets paid. We often hear ‘I’ve been disrespected ‘ !. Or for some reason when the player becomes either a restricted or unrestricted free agent that the contract negotiations begin with a club. There seem s to be an impasse reached between the two vested parties over money. The club is willing to pay but not overpay for that player’s services.

Seahawks'   wide  receiver   T J Houshmanzadeh   shows   off  his   new  jersey   replete  with  his   name  and   number.  Pity   however  the  player  has   yet  to  show  the  form  for  his  new  team  that  made   such  a  highly  sought  after   free  agent  .    picture  appears  courtesy  of    ap/photo/  Kevin  P. Casey  .............

Seahawks’ wide receiver T. J Houshmanzadeh shows off his new jersey replete with his name and number.Pity however,the player has yet to show the form that made him such a highly sought after free agent. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Kevin P. Casey….

Fast forward and take a look at the situation that involved two of the most noted free agents to have hit the market within the NFL. First there was former Cincinnati Bengals’ wide receiver T.J Houshmanzadeh. A terrific player, who’d been productive with the Bengals and he alongside, Chad Ochocinco , were once viewed as one of the best receiving duos in the league. He simply made life easier for Bengals’ quarterback, Carson Palmer , with his electric speed , blocking ability and most exceptional were his catches and the yardage gained after the catch. Bengals’ coach Marvin Lewis was visibly upset with the loss of the player ,when he left the team , to sign with the Seattle Seahawks.

Houshmanzadeh’s career seems to have taken a turn for the worse, as the Seahawks have tumbled out of relevance within the league. The excuses are made that the team declined with the injury bug that hit the roster , with the loss of quarterback , Matt Hasselbeck. Some have said that the departure of former coach, Mike Holmgren , upon his retirement -the team were never the same. Holmgren’s successor Jim Mora Jr. has seemingly been unable to maintain the success attained by Holmgren . And Houshmanzadeh ‘s play has just simply declined in the aftermath. While all of this has been happening , the Bengals as a team , is now on the rise. And the play of Palmer and Ochocinco has been exceptional. Marvin Lewis has the team playing with a great deal of passion and resolve . They’ve also become competitive within the AFC North and the NFL , as a whole.

For $ 100 million you’d be better bringing a lunch bucket to work , rather than a sandwich box. It’s simply amazing to hear of a player being paid such an excessive sum , only having simply produced , merely just one year’s body of work , having been in the league for a number of years going unnoticed.But simply put , the Washington Redskins have never been averse to overpaying for marginal talent. It’s been their coup de gras over the years. Think of it , as desiring a Maserati and you end up buying a hoopty. The Redskins sought and pursued former Tennessee Titans’ defensive player Albert Haynesworth with a great deal of zeal. Justified or not, the team to my mind had far greater needs in a variety of areas. And on another level , the team’s general manager, Vinny Cerrato at the behest of team owner , Daniel Snyder , simply has played fast and loose in spending money , on players who’ve never panned out with the Redskins. Just look down the list and it’s who’s of infamy- players who just haven’t lived up to the perceived hype about their abilities.

Haynesworth  seen  here  with   Redkins'  coach  Jim  Zorn

Haynesworth seen here with Redskins’ coach Jim Zorn just after formally agreeing to and signing a $100 million, 7 year contract offer with the team. Of which $45 million was in guaranteed money.Haynesworth’s form for the team has fallen far short of the contract’s worth. picture appears courtesy of getty images-north america/ Mitchell Layton…………

Haynesworth, having had a tremendous season with the Titans, was on the market as a free agent. And in essence, he was one of the most desirable of them all, out there. Far be it for me to suggest otherwise. But I do think that the play of Haynesworth’s former teammate , Kyle Van Den Bosch , played a great part in the player’s perceived importance and Albert’s belief in his own self worth. Haynesworth may well have been the fulcrum that held the team together . But to my mind Van Den Bosch played just as great a part in the team’s success last season under coach , Jeff Fisher and their 13-3 regular season of last year. Unfortunately, their loss in the playoffs was something of a surprise to many , who felt the team was destined for something better. But it wasn’t to be.

The Titans this season are (0-6) in the NFL ,soon to be quite possibly , (0-7) and further descending into depths of banality. But if anything , there’s more synergy and camaraderie within the Titans’ organization and the team’s respect for their coach.Their problem I believes is in the fact that the team’s quarterback ,Kerry Collins,has lost the confidence of his teammates and his leadership skills appears to be on the decline. As are Collins’ skills as a quarterback. Waiting in the wings, is said to be a rejuvenated Vince Young,who’s set to prove to the organization and its fans that he is the same player whose performance in the Texas Longhorns’ celebrated win over the USC Trojans, has been the highlight of his football career thus far. He’d like to show them that he’s regained that type of form. If Young can resurrect his career and play the Titans back into competitive contention. Then all will be forgiven in the eyes of many.

Haynesworth, for his part, now appears to be a character from the H G Welles’ classic novel ‘The Invisible Man’. If his name comes up any of the Redskins’ stats sheet, then can someone show it to me , please ! It was never about the money was it Albert ? Don’t bullshit me , please ! You say you wanted to play for a successful organization and build further upon their success ? What happened ? The fact of the matter is that the Washington Redskins under their coach, Jim Zorn ,have been totally abysmal . And the team and the organization has lost all confidence in the coaching abilities of Zorn. But what might be more damning ,may well be the fact of the lack of passion shown by the players on the field. Haynesworth ,quarterback, Jason Campbell are front and center. Obviously , they’re all are equally to blame for the abysmal showing of the team. There has no leadership shown from either and Zorn quite simply put, isn’t NFL coaching material. Plainly and simply, the organization has made another one of their several faux pas over the years. Think back to the Steve Spurrier era for the Redskins ? Was he bad or what ?

As I’ve alluded to earlier, it may well have not been about the money but simply wanting to build upon their legacy. But for Albert Haynesworth and T J Houshmanzadeh , the decision made to leave for pastures green, just hasn’t seemed to have worked out at all. It has been a complete and unadulterated mess for both. And it’s hard to see where both can go from here. Up you might say ? But that’d be predicated upon viewing both the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks getting a new lease on life and starting to win and perform better than they are now doing . And based on the evidence as the season has unfolded ,they appear to be a hell of a long way off from where they desire to be. Simply put ,Haynesworth and Houshmanzadeh made a decision about the careers that has been nothing short of being disastrous. Would you agree on that summation ?