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Haynesworth apologizes, won't appeal suspension

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Albert Haynesworth finally got the
chance Tuesday to apologize personally to Dallas center Andre Gurode, whose face he tore open with his cleat.

After spending much of the day getting nothing but unanswered
rings and a full voice mail box, Haynesworth connected late in the
afternoon with Gurode, who needed 30 stitches to repair the cuts in
his face.


"Albert has been trying to reach him for the past couple of days," Haynesworth's agent, Chad Speck told ESPN.com's John Clayton on Tuesday. "He was apologetic and sympathetic."

Haynesworth was suspended five games without pay Monday by the NFL --
the longest-ever punishment in the NFL for on-field behavior -- for
kicking Gurode's helmet off, then swiping his cleated foot on his
face while he lay on the ground. Speck said Haynesworth wouldn't
appeal, even though the NFL Players Association wanted him to try.

"He said Sunday night he would accept the league's decision of
what to do from a discipline standpoint, and that's what he's going
to do," Speck said.


The five-game suspension will cost Haynesworth $38,014 per game, or one-seventeenth of his 2006 base salary of $646,251.

That means Haynesworth will lose $190,070 for five games.

The NFL Players Association is studying the suspension, which is more than twice as long as the previous punishment for a player's misbehavior on the field. Green Bay lineman Charles Martin
got two games for throwing Chicago quarterback Jim McMahon onto his
shoulder in 1986.

"We're just in the fact-finding stage right now," NFLPA
spokesman Carl Francis said before Haynesworth's decision not to
appeal.

"For what I did, whatever they give me, I deserve it. I did it,
and it's wrong," Haynesworth said Sunday after he was ejected from
the 45-14 loss to Dallas.

Haynesworth's agent gave the tackle's phone number to Gurode's
agent and the Cowboys, hoping to connect the men. That finally
happened, but Speck wouldn't detail the conversation and said he is
leaving that to either Gurode or Haynesworth -- if they choose.

Gurode's agent, Kennard McGuire, did not immediately return
messages left by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The Dallas center plans to talk with his family about whether or
not to press charges, his agent told Nashville police Monday.

The Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday that Gurode still had
blurry vision Monday. Gurode said after the game Sunday that he
would have gone back on the field if his vision had been clear.

But fans and even people who pay no attention to sports
condemned Haynesworth's actions; many said five games wasn't
enough. Haynesworth was replaced by a rookie teammate on his weekly
radio show Tuesday night, which airs live from a shopping mall
south of Nashville.

The Titans agreed to terms with Tony Brown on Tuesday as a
replacement for Haynesworth on the defensive line. His suspension
had left Tennessee with veteran Robaire Smith, Randy Starks in his
third season and rookie Jesse Mahelona, who sprained a knee against
Dallas. Brown is a two-year veteran who has four career starts and
was most recently with Carolina.

"I let my team down," Haynesworth said Sunday. "I'm not
saying that I'm the heart of this team, but I definitely let the
team down."

The Titans asked the league to clarify the restrictions that
would be on Haynesworth during the suspension, which will keep him
off the field until Nov. 19, when the Titans visit Philadelphia.
Players suspended for substance abuse violations cannot work out
with their teams nor attend games, but it was not clear if those
rules applied to Haynesworth.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said because there is no precedent for
a suspension of this length for on-field activities, the NFL was
researching what might apply and will get back to the team.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.