Why not gamble on Albert Haynesworth?
That's the question Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp posed to readers today in his most recent rambling, er, column. Sharp argues that the Lions have not had "guts" to make moves like getting Haynesworth, who has become displeased with his stay in Washington. Here's a snippet of Sharp's argument from the Free Press:
The pursuit of excellence often demands taking risks, employing a strategy that sometimes runs counter to common sense. Haynesworth is a selfish prima donna who took the money and ran into hiding, blowing off a mandatory minicamp just a week after he happily accepted a $21-million bonus check from the Redskins. He's unhappy with the team's new 3-4 defensive scheme and wants a trade.
Sharp goes on to argue that the Lions should take a chance on Haynesworth because they are a team "thirsting for talent" and the Redskins would pick up the brunt of the cost.
Sorry Drew, but once again, you are completely wrong. Here's why.
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We all know the Lions are a team in desperate need of talent. Year after year they target highly skilled players with their draft choices, regardless of whether the team needs another wide receiver. But too many times the Lions have been burned by guys that have ego and character issues.
Why not Haynesworth you say, Drew? How about Charles Rogers, Mike Williams, Roy Williams, Shaun Rogers...do I need to go on? The Lions took a chance on all of these guys with high draft choices. None of them are on the team anymore.
Charles Rogers ran into legal trouble. Mike Williams was never ready to play in the NFL. Roy Williams was a diva wide receiver who wouldn't even tip the pizza guy. Shaun Rogers became lazy and uncommitted. Why not Haynesworth Drew? Because we've seen this before and it's burned us badly.
Heck, the Lions even tried getting guys with good character. Remember Joey "Blue Skies" Harrington. Yeah, that worked out really well.
Sure Washington would pick up the bill. But that's not the point. If Haynesworth doesn't pan out, it's just more time wasted on another questionable move by a franchise that has one playoff win since 1957.
Character alone doesn't cut it. Talent only gets you so far. You need a combination of both to succeed.