One of the biggest free agency flops in NFL history came to an end yesterday when the Washington Redskins shipped Albert Haynesworth to the New England Patriots for a 2013 fifth-round draft pick, a relatively meagre piece of compensation for a two-time All-Pro with one of the most lucrative contracts ever signed.
Sources close to the deal confirmed to the Associated Press yesterday that Haynesworth's stay in Washington was over. The move rids the Redskins of a two-year distraction who did little to justify his standing on the field and was in legal trouble away from it.
Haynesworth played in only 20 games in Washington, recording six sacks. Last year, the defensive tackle constantly feuded with Mike Shanahan, the new coach and was suspended for the final four games for conduct detrimental to the club.
The deal also completes the second half of a much-needed task for Shanahan in the compressed few days between the end of the NFL lockout and the start of training camp.
The two big-name malcontents from last season - the quarterback Donovan McNabb and Haynesworth - are gone.
The Redskins worked out a deal to trade McNabb on Wednesday, sending him to the Minnesota Vikings for a sixth-round draft pick in 2012 and a conditional sixth-round selection in 2013.
Haynesworth was guaranteed a then-record US$41 million (Dh150.5m) in the seven-year, $100m contract he signed in the early hours of free agency in 2009.
On the same day, he infamously declared: "You're not going to remember Albert Haynesworth as a bust." But he will be chronicled as just that - the biggest free agency mistake in Dan Snyder's 12 years as the Redskins owner.
Elsewhere, Reggie Bush is bound for Miami after the Dolphins finalised a trade for the New Orleans running back after negotiating a new two-year contract with him. It was not known what the Saints would receive in the trade.
The Dolphins sought a running back to pair with Daniel Thomas, their second-round draft choice. Last year's leading rushers, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, are free agents.
Two of the NFL's most coveted free agents were locked up by their own teams as the New York Jets reached agreement with the wide receiver Santonio Holmes and the Carolina Panthers moved to keep the running back DeAngelo Williams. Holmes agreed to a five-year deal worth nearly $50m.
Acquired last off-season from Pittsburgh, the 27 year old had 52 catches for 746 yards and six touchdowns despite missing four games due to a suspension, and became a go-to guy for Mark Sanchez, the Jets quarterback, in tight situations.
The sizeable deal put a question mark on the future of his teammate and fellow wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who along with big-play receivers Randy Moss and the former Super Bowl MVP Plaxico Burress, are available on the free agent market.
The Panthers agreed on a five-year, $43m deal for Williams.
Williams, 28, played only six games last year because of injury, gaining 361 yards on 87 carries.
His best season came in 2008 when he ran for 1,515 yards and 18 touchdowns as he averaged 5.5 yards per carry.