The New England Patriots released DT Albert Haynesworth on Tuesday, surprising a few folks even though his release shouldn't come as a huge surprise. Haynesworth and defensive line coach Pepper Johnson were involved in a spat on the sidelines in Sunday's game and Haynesworth was apparently benched from the third quarter on (even though Bill Belichick says it was rotation-related).
The reaction from Patriots fans is mostly that this was the right move. SB Nation's Pats Pulpit polled their readers and 65 percent say they agree with the decision to release Haynesworth, although it's still disappointing.
Haynesworth seemed to be saying all of the right things to the press, took a huge pay-cut, called being with the Patriots "career saving" and seemed to really be giving it his all on every play. However, he played poorly for two and a half quarters on Sunday, and after the shouting match with Johnson, maybe Bill Belichick sensed a changed in Haynesworth and realized he wasn't worth the potential headache if things really did turn sour.
Things seemed to be going well enough in New England. Haynesworth wasn't playing like an All-Pro, clearly, but he didn't seem to have the same sulking issues that he did in Washington the year before. Belichick has this reputation, whether it's deserved or not, of identifying talent and getting the most out of players.
On Haynesworth, he failed. The fact that he was due just $1.5 million this year, and cost a 2013 fifth round pick to acquire, makes that easier to swallow.