A big miscalculation with Haynesworth

US Presswire/Stew Milne

It simply didn't work out for Bill Belichick and Albert Haynesworth.Albert Haynesworth didn't cost much, but his release Tuesday shows that Patriots coach Bill Belichick strayed from his principles:

The Patriots signed up for that with Haynesworth, who was different from Dillon and Moss in one respect -- he had dogged it on the field in Washington. Some might say Moss and Dillon did the same, but their actions seemed to be more a result of the lack of competitiveness around them, and it was easier to project they could thrive in a more demanding, competitive setting. Haynesworth was different and bringing him aboard ran counter to some of the core principles that guided Belichick's personnel decisions in past years, when catchphrases such as "football is important to him," "we're building a team, not just collecting talent" and "younger and faster" were uttered regularly.

Belichick thought he could turn Haynesworth around, a common belief of coaches regarding former stars who have bottomed out elsewhere. But on Tuesday, Belichick met with Haynesworth, thanked him for his hard work in returning from a back injury, then told him that it just wasn't working out and that he wasn't a fit for the Patriots' scheme, a source said.

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Despite his words, a lack of effort and commitment seemed to doom Haynesworth:

Actions speak louder than words. And Haynesworth's actions -- or lack thereof -- combined with some ill-timed yapping on the sideline during Sunday's loss to the Giants, sealed his fate.

Tantalizingly talented in tiny bursts, Haynesworth was an infrequent participant in training camp, preseason games, practices and regular-season games alike. He sat out a long stretch of camp, even as coach Bill Belichick and his teammates covered for his unexplained absence, and made only a brief cameo in the final preseason game.

The Patriots engaged in 24 official practices during the eight game weeks that Haynesworth was with the team; in 70.8 percent of them he was either a limited participant (11) or did not participate at all (6).

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And here's more analysis from Mike Reiss: