<
>

Where Haynesworth's dollars will fit in among DTs

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Contracts can be read in all different sorts of ways depending on what the person reading them wants to see.

When the Titans failed to lock down defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth with a long-term deal by Tuesday's deadline, the statement from GM Mike Reinfeldt said the franchise tender of $7.25 million "makes him the highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL in 2008."

But agent Chad Speck disputed that claim.

"I would disagree with the statement that Albert, if he signs the franchise tender, will be the highest paid defensive tackle in the NFL in 2008. Shaun Rogers, Tommy Kelly, Tommie Harris, Corey Williams and Kris Jenkins will all earn significantly more than the one-year tender given to Albert in 2008."

Speck is right. Haynesworth's number might give him the highest average salary. But comparing a franchise number to a long-term contract is apples and oranges because the long-term guarantees are not factored in.

The Titans' stance is looking at average salaries or cap numbers, where only a piece of a signing bonus counts. Speck is looking at money pocketed, a number that's significantly higher after those big bonuses are collected.

Here's a breakdown of all those numbers:

All five put more in their pocket this season than Haynesworth will, which is a reasonable way to look at it.

Speck will try now to get the Titans to agree to some incentives, which, if earned, will prevent the team from franchising Haynesworth again next season.

I don't see the Titans giving that away very easily.