How much will it take to keep Albert Haynesworth a Tennessee Titan?
At the minimum, it will take $6.363 million. That is the 2008 franchise tag number that is expected to be officially released later this week by the NFL Players Association for defensive tackles entering free agency, according to a league source.
Those numbers are arrived at from averaging the top five salaries of defensive tackles from across the NFL.
If the Titans franchise Haynesworth, he would receive that salary for 2008 until a long-term contract extension could be completed and would not be awarded any signing bonus. That number is actually down slightly from last year’s $6.775 million.
To keep Haynesworth in the fold long-term, a new contract could be well into eight figures. Last year, the Detroit Lions signed defensive tackle Cory Redding to a reported $49 million deal with $16 million in guaranteed money.
Haynesworth has said he would like to remain with the Titans long-term after a breakout season in which he posted six sacks while playing in 13 games. He also had 69 tackles and six tackles for loss with 23 quarterback pressures.
Haynesworth earned his first Pro Bowl berth and will be leaving this week for Hawaii, and was also named to the Associated Press NFL All-Pro team.
The former University of Tennessee star was dominant enough that when he missed three games with a right hamstring injury, the Titans lost all three games. Haynesworth played at less than 100 percent after returning from the injury.
Asked about being franchised, Haynesworth said late last week that the decision is out of his hands.
“There’s really nothing I can do, if it’s what they choose to do. That’s all up to them,” Haynesworth said at the time.
No new dialogue between the Titans and Haynesworth’s agent Chad Speck had taken place as of late last week, according to the player. But coach Jeff Fisher has said publicly on radio appearances that Haynesworth is in the Titans’ plans for 2008.
If the Titans opt to franchise Haynesworth, they only have to send a letter of notification informing him of the move by the deadline date of Feb. 21.
HOLOVAK DIES: Long-time football executive Mike Holovak, who was the general manager for the Houston Oilers before Floyd Reese assumed the helm in 1994, died Sunday in Ruskin, Fla. He was 88.
Holovak was the Oilers’ general manager from 1989-93, and the team made the playoffs in every season of his tenure. He remained with the franchise through 1998 in an advisory capacity.
“Mike was the quintessential ‘football guy,’” Titans owner Bud Adams said. “He had such a passion and knowledge of the game. It is rare when you see a person excel in all three areas of the sport: a great player in college, a successful coach and great talent evaluator, but Mike was one of the special people. He had a real gift for evaluating talent; and in my opinion, he was one of the finest and most effective evaluators of playing talent in the history of our organization.”
Holovak, a Navy veteran from World War II, is a member of the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame, the Boston College Varsity Club Hall of Fame, the Tennessee Titans Hall of Fame and the Seton Hall Prep Hall of Fame.
“His induction into our team Hall of Fame, the only front office member ever inducted, speaks volumes to the impact to our organization. More than that, he was a true gentleman and a man of great integrity,” Adams said.
WILLIAMS INTEREST?: With Gregg Williams out as the defensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins, a report from the Washington Post said the Titans had sought permission to speak with him about a return, and that it had been granted.
However, the Titans currently do not have any openings on their staff.
Other teams had also been given permission to interview Williams before his firing by the Redskins on Saturday, with Jacksonville and St. Louis inquiring about him.