Albert Haynesworth’s market value just increased again

Albert Haynesworth faced a tough test yesterday. Optimists would characterize it as a great opportunity.
Big Albert passed the test with flying colors. He didn’t just take advantage of the opportunity, he took the bull by the horns, tossed it aside like a rag doll and kicked it in the butt.
Albert lined up against two very worthy adversaries and whipped them both. On some plays, he was in the grill of three-time first-team All-Pro Steve Hutchinson, a five-time Pro Bowl selection. When he wasn’t beating Hutchinson, he was taking on center Matt Birk, who as a six-time Pro Bowler, isn’t exactly a slouch. And on some plays, he took on both of them and beat their double-team efforts.
His stat line was reflective of his dominating performance. Six tackles, two sacks, two tackles for losses, two quarterback hits and even a pass defensed. He collapsed the Vikings’ line. He spent the afternoon penetrating into enemy territory, blowing plays up and harrassing Vikings quarterback Gus Frerotte.
Haynesworth’s market value skyrocketed yesterday. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent next March and there’s no telling how much stupid money will be offered to him by some team.
I’m guessing Albert will get about $35 million guaranteed, with a contract totaling perhaps $70M over six years. I don’t know what team will be crazy enough to pay that much ridiculous coin but it will be interesting to see what happens.
Game balls:
In his recap, Drexel awarded the defensive game ball to Albert. Since Albert already has a game ball, I’m going to go in a different direction and award a ball to the secondary. They had, both collectively and individually, outstanding performances.
I was particularly impressed with their efforts on run defense. Cortland Finnegan and Vince Fuller had seven tackles apiece. Nick Harper and Chris Hope both had six. Fuller added a forced fumble. The group was all over the field, making plays. Is “swarming” too descriptive or an overstatement?
Finnegan had two plays that really stood out. On one, the Vikes pulled a lineman, their right guard, I believe, to lead a sweep around their left end. Finnegan took on and defeated that 300-pounder’s block and then made the tackle on Adrian Peterson. On the other play, Finnegan held his ground, maintaining his contain and denying Peterson the outside, forcing the play back to the inside. He then corralled A.D. for the tackle, but even if he hadn’t made the tackle, his contain would have been the difference on the play, as ten other two-tone blue jerseys were quickly there to clean up if necessary.
On offense, I might as well give the ball to Justin Gage, who had five catches for 92 yards. It was good to see him back on the field.
Special teams? Rod Bironas gets the nod from me. He was Mr. Automatic again on field goals and his strong leg was once more an asset on kickoffs.

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