Harrison: Haynesworth got paid and quit


Harrison: Haynesworth got paid and quit

Anybody familiar with the Patriots -- or the NFL for that matter -- knows what type of player Rodney Harrison was.

If he was ever in hot water, it certainly wasn't because he wasn't trying on the field. Quite the contrary, actually. So you can see why he was so disappointed with the way Albert Haynesworth has played -- or hasn't played -- since he cashed in on the Redskins.

Like many people who bought Haynesworth's cheap words when he arrived in New England, Harrison was surprised to see how it ended here with him.

"I thought getting Albert in the offseason, I thought it was actually a good move," Harrison told Tom E. Curran on 'Quick Slants'. "I thought he was going to come in and become a motivated player, get back to what he was earlier in his career in 2003, 2005, 2007 with the Tennessee Titans. I'm very disappointed with Albert. They paid him a lot of money -- not the New England Patriots, the Washington Redskins -- and for a guy to have that type of security, that type of contract, to come out and basically quit, Tom.

"When people look back on Albert Haynesworth's name, they're going to think of him as a guy that was overweight, a guy that quit, a guy that got paid a lot of money, and really went out the wrong way. I'm very disappointed"

"Disappointed" doesn't really begin to describe the feeling fans have regarding Haynesworth. How about "disgusting" for starters? The Pats took a flyer on a guy they thought they could get to. It didn't work. But it has in the past.

"Sometimes you hit gold with certain players," Harrison said. "You go out and you get a guy, you take a chance on Corey Dillon or Rodney Harrison and it pays dividends. Other times you got out and get an Albert Haynesworth and other guys and it doesn't exactly pan out the way you would like."

Haynesworth was just another underperforming member of a Patriots defense that -- going into Week 10 -- is still trying to find its way.

"When you go out and cut guys like Leigh Bodden and Albert Haynesworth, obviously Bill Belichick, he's not happy with the -- he's trying to send a message to the defense," said Harrison.

But it isn't just the defense that hasn't been up to snuff as of late. Over the past three games, the Patriots have not amassed more than 20 points in any of them. Harrison has a few reasons for why this is, and why Tom Brady hasn't looked as sharp this season.

1. The offensive line isn't doing its job: "You have to start with the offensive line. Teams that are good rushing teams that are rushing different stunts, different types of blitzes, they're putting pressure on Tom Brady. The blueprint for beating the Patriots . . . Tight man-to-man coverage, pressure up the middle, and force Brady to his left. Teams are starting to do that and the offensive line is not protecting him."

2. Brady's comfort level isn't right: "Tom, he's staring at his receivers. He doesn't feel comfortable. People are playing tight man-to-man coverage. He's got a 'robber' playing in the middle of the field so when Wes Welker or guys are coming across the middle they have someone there."

3. Brady is trying to do too much to make up for other team voids: "They're pressing. Tom Brady is pressing because he knows that this defense isn't really very good. They're going to give up a lot of points, they're going to give up a lot of yards, and he's putting a lot of pressure on himself to go out there and make plays. So he just needs to relax, they need to run the football, but they have to, more important than anything, they have to protect Tom.

The Patriots are losers of two in a row. The Jets are playing their best football of the season, and look for revenge against the Patriots at home. Still, Harrison thinks the Patriots are going to snap out of their recent funk and get back on track with a win. That is, if they do the necessary things to win.

"I really believe they rebound in this situation," Harrison said. "The Jets are playing pretty good football. To go on the road up in a hostile environment in Buffalo and to win that football game. Buffalo, they have a very explosive offense. I was impressed with that. I think the Patriots go up there -- if they establish the run, they can't turn the the ball over like they did in the playoffs last year. I think the Patriots win this football game."

How does Derek Carr's new deal impact Jimmy Garoppolo?

How does Derek Carr's new deal impact Jimmy Garoppolo?

Ever since Derek Carr signed a five-year, $125 million extension with the Raiders to give him the highest average annual contract value in league history, some version of the same question has been posed over and over again. 

What does this mean for other quarterbacks looking for new deals? 

Despite the fact that Carr's average annual value surpasses the previous high set by Andrew Luck ($24.6 million), and despite the fact that Carr's contract provides him the security that alluded him while he was on his rookie contract, his recent haul may not mean much for the likes of Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins and other top-end quarterbacks.

They were already expecting monster paydays down the road that would hit (or eclipse) the $25 million range, and Carr's record-setting contract may not even serve as a suitable baseline for them, as ESPN's Dan Graziano lays out.

So if Carr's contract did little more for upper-echelon quarterbacks than confirm for them where the market was already headed, then does it mean anything for someone like Jimmy Garoppolo? 

Carr and Garoppolo were both second-round picks in 2014, but from that point, they've obviously taken very different roads as pros. Carr started 47 consecutive games in his first three years and by last season he had established himself as one of the most valuable players in the league. Garoppolo, by comparison, has started two games. 

Both players still hold loads of promise, but unless Garoppolo sees substantial playing time in 2017 and then hits the open market, he won't approach Carr's deal when his rookie contract is up.  

ESPN's Mike Reiss projected that a fair deal for Garoppolo on the open market might fall between the $19 million that was guaranteed to Chicago's Mike Glennon and Carr's contract, which includes $40 million fully guaranteed and $70 million in total guarantees, per NFL Media.

Perhaps something in the range of what Brock Osweiler received from the Texans after Osweiler started seven games for the Broncos in 2015 would be considered fair: four years, with $37 million guaranteed. Because Osweiler (before his deal or since) never seemed as polished as Garoppolo was in his two games as a starter in 2016, and because the salary cap continues to soar, the argument could be made that Garoppolo deserves something even richer. 

Though Garoppolo is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency following the 2017 season, there is a chance he doesn't get there quite that quickly. The Patriots could try to come to some kind of agreement with their backup quarterback on an extension that would keep him in New England, or they could place the franchise tag on him following the season. 

Either way, Garoppolo will get paid. But until he sees more time on the field, a deal that would pay him in the same range as his draft classmate will probably be out of reach.

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Football is coming.

The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.

Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.

The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.

The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.