Cause for optimism regarding Haynesworth staying?

January, 26, 2009
1/26/09
7:44
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Haynesworth
Just spoke with our John Clayton who's reporting there is reason for optimism that the Titans could come to an agreement with defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth before the start of free agency on Feb. 27.

Writes Clayton:

Last week, both sides exchanged ideas and the Titans didn't rule out paying Haynesworth's potential $12 million plus a year price considerations. Because he's considered the best impact defensive tackle on the free agent market and could be paid in line with a top defensive end such as Jared Allen. It would be Haynesworth's preference to work out a deal with the Titans, the team that drafted him into the league.

Haynesworth has said all along he'd like to stay and the team has said all along it wants to keep him. Price was going to be the obstacle and still likely is. But that Allen's name came up and that the idea of paying the tackle something in line with the Kansas City defensive end didn't prompt the Titans to scoff is cause for a bit of relief for Titans faithful.

That doesn't guarantee anything gets done, but it's better than the silence that preceded it.

The Titans should move quickly -- the nearer Haynesworth gets to free agency on Feb. 27, the more tempting it will be for him to dip his toe in the pool. At least one team desperate for a splashy acquisition and a difference maker on defense will be willing to throw crazy money at him, and once that offer arrives the Titans will have lost their chance.

If Tennessee has an opportunity to lock him up, it should pounce.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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