AFC East Free Agency: 5 Days Without Sleep And I’m Not Tired

Albert Haynesworth is on the Patriots. The Redskins have had enough of the man made of ice cream and hot dogs. OK. People in New England are happy, people in Washington are not happy. Why? Haynesworth has proved to the world that he can just give up, walk away and still be rich for the rest of his life.

Fans don’t like to see someone so talented waste it, not because they like to see athletes succeed, but because there is no necessity (financially speaking) in a comeback. If he were to be broke and bagging groceries upon failure in New England, people would pull for the guy (Kurt Warner).

That is not the reality of Albert Haynesworth. He won’t be poor, even if he lights up a big fat cigar between the numbers on a third and 1 against the Jets in the playoffs. Only 5 years ago, Haynesworth ripped off the helmet of Andre Gurode and stomped on his head, opening a wound only inches from his eye. Amongst the football media, this has been viewed as one of the cheapest and most vicious incidents of “after the whistle” violence in NFL history. Some called for Haynesworth to be suspended for the entire season, which would have undoubtedly kept him out of the 2007 Pro Bowl. So what would Albert Haynesworth be if the maximum penalty was handed out? Cheaper to the Redskins? A harder worker? Less of a steal for the Patriots?

Bill Belichick is not in the resurrection business. He runs a system that never requires star talent, save for the quarterback. It is simply a machine of efficiency that can be made better with star players. Albert Haynesworth will not get 20 sacks next year. He will not even play 50% of defensive snaps. He will be used in nickel and dime packages and goal line situations. How do you beat Albert Haynesworth? Get away from him. Toss the ball to the right. We all know Haynesworth is not Ndamukong Suh. Belichick is only going to use Haynesworth when he needs him. He has no point to prove about 30 year old defensive tackles.

So there we go, a big man with about 50% of his capabilities left. Enough of the sadist (see Redskins training camp hazing), let’s go to Miami, where expectations are so low they boo the starting quarterback in training camp. By the way, they want Orton. Now.
Reggie Bush will add flash to a team that can’t even string together 10 wins. What can flash do? Ask Andre Johnson. Getting snubbed by the FavreMan and Kyle Orton (Tebow Thing) the Dolphins are out of options. With a rookie running back named Daniel Thomas, Bush will be mentor, coach, and teammate with a serious workload for the first time in his NFL career.

They will try and get everything they can out of him, seeing if any of those college awards are good for anything in the land of jet skis and crystal dreams. Bush will benefit from the newly installed West Coast offense. He is not a bruiser, and he does not have the speed of a Chris Johnson. He’s a spaceback (I think I just made that up) who thrives on open field receptions. Give him a 1 on 1 in the flat, and it’s off to the races. He is more versatile than a tight end, and stronger than a receiver. He struggles explanation from even the most experienced of analysts. Running to the left will be his best chance, seeing as how the Dolphins have an excellent tackle, center combination in Pouncey and Long.

I see Reggie Bush making a serious impact in the Miami offense, especially with Brandon Marshall requiring cornerback/safety coverage on most plays. Will it take Miami to the playoffs? No. But at least it will be fun to watch.

Changing the tune, let’s see what the Jets have in terms of rookies and sophomores:

Kyle Wilson did not face elite competition in college. I’m sorry to all the Wilson fans, but Boise State does not face elite competition at any point during the year. Rough translation, he was not ready for NFL receivers when the time came. He got beat off the line, and often reverted to bad technique when he was beat down the field. It is not so much that I think Kyle Wilson will have a good year, it is that he NEEDS to have a good year in order to stick around as a nickel back and not get permanently relegated to a backup and kick returner. Seeing as how Rex already called him the starting nickel corner, expectations are high.

After a series of workouts in Arizona with Darrelle Revis, Wilson should be able to get back on the field with the confidence knowing he has been mentored by the best in the business. Being the same size also helps, as Cromartie teaching Wilson could only do so much, Cromartie having a 6’7 wingspan and all.

In terms of rookies, I think the Jets are going to get great run out of Muhammad Wilkerson. I base this on the fact that Wilkerson will probably get the most playing time between 3-4 defensive end and a nickel/dime package nose tackle. I know he hasn’t faced elite competition in college, but his size and speed when added to Kenrick Ellis and Sione Pouha will help the Jets at least turn down the requirement of a six man rush to a five man rush for the majority of blitz packages. I can see him and Kenrick Ellis requiring three blockers at all times, which could leave Pace, Harris, Thomas and Scott to rush the passer.

Rookies will be forced to turn into NFL players faster than ever before. Teams with new head coaches and rookie quarterbacks will look foolish. Defense will reign. It is the year of the Ryan brothers.