In the seemingly never-ending game of connect-the-dots, rumors continue that Philadelphia will be a real player in the anticipated trade market for Washington defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth after the lockout.
The rationale isn't just based on the Eagles' need for a dominating interior force, and a perception that Philly front office/general manager Howie Roseman is ready to go big in terms of making veteran additions via free agency or trade, but that a reunion of Haynesworth with former defensive line chief Jim Washburn could be the kick in the butt the talented but underachieving tackle needs to resuscitate his career.
Haynesworth played the first seven seasons of his career under Washburn in Tennessee. Now, Washburn, a throwback-type coach who gets great results, has been hired by Andy Reid.
While the Haynesworth-Washburn rumors prevail, here's another, perhaps more realistic, connect-the-dots name to tie to the Eagles: free agent defensive end Jason Babin. The seven-year veteran notched 12.5 sacks playing for Washburn and the Titans in 2010. Babin, 31, never had more than five sacks in a season until 2010.
The Eagles could use a pass rusher from the left side - and despite being undersized for the position, Babin started 16 games at left end in '10, and held up surprisingly well versus the run - almost as much as they need a play-making tackle.
Philly's top three left ends in 2010 combined for 12 sacks. The best of the bunch, Juqua Parker, is 33 years old and, while a try-hard defender, doesn't anchor against the run very well. Reid this week confirmed what everyone had pretty much expected, that 2010 first-rounder Brandon Graham won't be ready for camp, maybe not for the start of the season, because of knee surgery.
Since 2002, only one Philadelphia player besides right end Trent Cole has registered double-digit sacks. That was end Darren Howard, who had 10 sacks in 2008, but at least half of those came when he moved inside to tackle on third down. Philadelphia had only 39 sacks last season, its fewest since 2007. Haynesworth would fit much better into the Eagles' 4-3 front than the 3-4 the Redskins employ, and the Donovan McNabb trade last year showed that the two NFC East rivals can, indeed, do trade business, but taking on Haynesworth and his contract would be a big gamble. Babin better fits the character and hustle paradigm the Eagles gave laid out.<
Where Does Haynesworth End Up?
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