Redskins Agree to Terms With Defensive Lineman Albert Haynesworth

By Jason Reid and Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, February 27, 2009; 8:56 AM

The Washington Redskins have landed the biggest prize in free agency by agreeing to terms with defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth this morning.

The team will introduce Haynesworth at a 5 p.m. news conference today at Redskins Park. Few details were immediately available this morning, but Haynesworth, 27, formerly of the Tennessee Titans, agreed to a deal worth approximately $100 million over seven years, a source said.

It appears the deal would eclipse the contract of Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, the current top-paid defensive player, who received $32 million guaranteed as part of a six-year deal that averages $12.2 million per season.

The signing of Haynesworth is designed to shore up a Redskins pass rush that was 28th in the league last season. Haynesworth had a career-high 8.5 sacks last season, a remarkable number for an interior lineman.

Late last night, the Redskins accomplished their primary offseason objective by agreeing to terms on a six-year contract worth up to $55 million with cornerback DeAngelo Hall before he could join the free agent market that opened today, according to NFL sources.

Following those moves, Dallas free agent defensive end Chris Canty, who had a visit to Redskins Park planned for Friday, will now be making other trips, according to league sources. The Redskins ended their pursuit of Canty after signing Haynesworth, as signing both would be virtually impossible given their cap situation. Canty is likely to command a deal worth $8 million a season.

The Redskins also remained deep in negotiations with guard Derrick Dockery as of 3 a.m., but those talks have been tabled for now, if not discontinued, according to a source.

The Redskins may have to make another roster move before the Hall and Haynesworth deals become official with the NFL office, and the release of corner Shawn Springs would create $6 million in cap relief.

Hall is scheduled to receive roughly $23 million guaranteed -- with $30 million to be paid out of the first three years of the deal -- according to sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment on the Redskins' negotiations with Hall's representatives.

Retaining Hall, whom the team signed to a one-year deal in November after he was released by the Oakland Raiders, was the centerpiece to owner Dan Snyder's most recent ambitious plan to attempt to upgrade the Redskins through the free agent market, which opened at 12:01 a.m. With an agreement in place with Hall, Snyder and Vinny Cerrato, Washington's executive vice president of football operations, focused on the next phase of their process: attempting to bolster the Redskins' defensive and offensive lines.

Haynesworth and Dockery, a former Redskins draft choice, had emerged among their top outside targets on defense and offense, respectively, NFL sources said. Canty, who played for the Dallas Cowboys, also was one of Washington's 'A'-list choices, sources said, and the team contacted his agent just after the midnight signing period began. A versatile defensive end who can play the run and pass rush from the interior on third downs, Canty, 26, has been observed closely by the Redskins for some time, and they expressed their interest within the first five minutes teams could contact players' representatives, league sources said.

At the direction of Snyder and Cerrato, Eric Schaffer, the Redskins' vice president of football administration, improved the team's salary cap position over two weeks leading to the market opening, trying to position the team to make competitive offers for several players Snyder and Cerrato would like to bring to Redskins Park.

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