In a move that will keep him off the free agent market (and a smart one), the Titans have told the agent for big defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth that they will use the franchise tag on him. The two sides have been working on a long-term deal, and can continue to do so even with the tag on him. Haynesworth’s agent, Chad Speck, said that the two sides will keep talking. “We are working on a long-term deal for Albert. I don’t anticipate that we will be able to get anything done prior to the designation deadline for franchise players,” Speck said. “Mike confirmed to me that he will use the franchise tag on Albert, but is committed to trying to get a deal done by July 15th.”
July 15th is the last day that the two sides can keep talking if the tag is on the Pro Bowl DT. The pay that Haynesworth will get for being franchised is $7.250 million. The Titans will wait till the very end (Feb. 21) before they throw the tag on Haynesworth, which Speck says he understands. “Personally, it makes more sense to wait until right before the end (to do anything),” Reinfeldt said. “I think you have to go through the process, try and have discussions and try and keep your options open as long as possible. We’ve exchanged some proposals with his agent. … The franchise tag is a mechanism that’s available to us, and we’ll cross that bridge at the appropriate time.”
Haynesworth would surely have been a hot player on the FA market. There were already rumblings about a number of teams that would have made him a rather sizable offer. He was a wrecking ball on the Titans line this past season, and his play was the biggest reason why the team was able to finally get into the playoffs. Keeping him a happy camper with the long-term deal will keep the Titans D playing at a high level for years to come.