Apparently Albert Haynesworth did an interview with Adam Schein and Jim Miller on SIRIUS NFL Radio the other day. I wouldn’t know, because — being the sort of ancient person who remembers the Journey arcade game — I still use terrestrial radio, with static and commercials and all of that.
Fortunately for all of us, a poster over at NFL Spot dot com has transcribed a few of the comments, with a specific focus on how Haynesworth claimed to be “too big” for Nashville. This will no doubt cause all sorts of fuss and furor with Titans fans, but if you read the actual quotes, it seems clear that he means “too big” in the sense of “outgrown the place where he spent his youth,” not in the sense of “this town cannot contain all of my awesomeness.”
Here, judge for yourselves:
Haynesworth on his move to the Redskins via a $100 million contract: “Believe it or not, I guess I don’t have a ton of the pressure on me. I feel like I was almost getting – I don’t want it to seem like I’ve got a big head, but… too big for Nashville.”
Haynesworth on why he believes Nashville was more pressure on him than the Redskins market: “I try to explain it to people so they can understand it… say you’re in grade school… You stay in the same elementary school. You could be this young kid, coming in at six years old. You kind of do some things as far as misbehaving, or whatever. You’re just a young kid. But when you get to the fourth, fifth grade, you’ve kind of grown out of it. But you still carry around that and you’re still dealing with those same teachers and they still view you as that kid in kindergarten. That’s kind of what I felt in Nashville. No matter what I did, they always wanted to refer to me how I was when I first came into the league at 20 years old. Now in D.C., I feel like I have a clean slate.
“I’m kind of glad I didn’t work out something there because it was time for me to go.”
Haynesworth on leaving Nashville: “I really decided it that was the best for me to move on after I signed. It was hard for me not to think of myself as a Titan. Thinking of myself as a Redskin. It took a little bit of time that I wasn’t (a Titan).”
Haynesworth on his negotiations with the Titans: “They really disappointed me because they only offered me once during that whole offseason between the playoffs and free agency… they didn’t even call us the day before free agency. They made no effort whatsoever so with me leaving to sign so fast, they want to get something out of it.”
“No, I could’ve made more money with Tampa Bay if I had really wanted to,” Haynesworth said when asked if money was the top determining factor in his decision. “They offered me a whole lot more, and even with their tax situation, it could have been 20 percent more.”
“They want to get something out of it,” Haynesworth said of the Titans. “They want to get a draft pick. Now, they feel like they lost me, so they feel like they want to get a draft pick. . . .
“The Redskins called at 12:15. The Giants called right after that. Actually, Tampa was the first team to call. Then, Atlanta called and the Denver Broncos called after that.”
Haynesworth said that by nearly 2:00 a.m. EST the Redskins had made a formal offer to him.
The tampering charge has never seemed particularly threatening to me. Not only because I don’t find the evidence I’ve read about particularly compelling, but because I was in the facility until some ungodly hour of the morning waiting (and waiting and waiting) for news, and it took long enough to come that I went home thinking it wasn’t happening. But this makes me feel a little better still.
(Photo by Ned Dishman; click to enlarge.)
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