Former football star Albert Haynesworth is suffering from kidney failure and took to Instagram to let the world know he’s in “dire need” of a donor for a transplant. In the photo, he can be seen resting in a hospital bed and loaded up with intravenous therapy tubes. Haynesworth retired from the NFL after the 2011 season.
The 38-year-old spent 11 seasons in the NFL and played for four different teams, including the Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His health issues previously surfaced in November 2014 after he suffered a brain aneurysm and spent time in intensive care.
“Well this is hard for me to say but my doctors said I should reach out to my family, friends and fans,” Haynesworth wrote on Instagram. “Some of you may know I’ve been battling kidney disease for a few years … now the time has come family, friends and fans, I’m in dire need of a kidney.”
1. Haynesworth Needs a Kidney
His Instagram post has generated a slew of media coverage and interest from football fans. In his message, he states that his kidneys failed him on July 7, 2019 and asks potential donors to “please call Vanderbilt at 615-936-0695 and hit option 2.” The post had almost 6,000 likes and included many comments from people interested in helping the former NFL star, including a few fans asking about what blood type and what hospital.
2. Haynesworth Was a Sack Master
Haynesworth was once one of the premier pass-rushers in the NFL, particularly during his time in Tennessee. He racked up 24 sacks in seven seasons for the Titans, including a career-high 8.5 sacks in 2008, and qualified for back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2007 and 2008. Haynesworth was the 15th overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft after a successful college career where he built a reputation as a brutal run-stopper. He was once disqualified from a game for stamping on a player’s helmet and also fined $5,000 for slamming a running back to the ground.
3. The $100 Million Man
Haynesworth signed with the Redskins in 2009 and agreed to a seven-year, $100 million contract, including $41 million guaranteed. However, the hulking defensive lineman never bought into then-coach Mike Shanahan’s system and lasted just two seasons in Washington before the team cut him. Haynesworth’s biggest claim to fame was his failure to undergo a basic conditioning test which consisted of two 300-yard shuttle runs. He wasn’t a fan of the Redskins’ 3-4 defensive scheme. In an open letter to The Players Tribune, he claimed the coaching staff said “all we want you to do is grab the center and let the linebackers run free.”
4. Haynesworth Idolized Reggie White
Reggie White is arguably the greatest pass-rusher in the history of the NFL, so naturally, Haynesworth patterned his game after his. Haynesworth wore White’s famed No. 92 throughout his career and the two shared similar measurements — Haynesworth stood 6-foot-6 and 350 pounds, compared to White at 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds — but the similarities ended there. Haynesworth never lived up to the extreme hype surrounding him, with his disciplinary actions not helping his cause. Hall of Famer Warren Sapp famously referred to him as a “turd.”
5. Not Following the Patriot Way
Haynesworth made one last run at salvaging his career when he forced a trade to the New England Patriots in 2011. He was accused of underperforming in the third quarter of a game against the New York Giants and got into a sideline altercation with Patriots assistant coach Pepper Johnson. The team started cutting down his snaps and eventually cut ties with him in a “rotation-related” move. Haynesworth finished with just three tackles in six games.