Haynesworth adds another big, powerful veteran presence to the defensive line, an area in which the Patriots did not select a player in the 2011 draft.
The Patriots have nose tackle Vince Wilfork returning at nose tackle in their 3-4 defense, and he's the team's best lineman. Nine-year veteran Ty Warren, who missed 2010 with a hip injury, has been the team's longtime starter at left defensive end. The expectation was that he would be back at that spot in 2011, if he returned to full health.
So the big question is at right defensive end in the 3-4 -- Richard Seymour's old spot -- and that's where the 6-foot-6, 335-pound Haynesworth could be utilized by Bill Belichick. The Patriots also run plenty of multiple fronts, featuring a four-man line, and Haynesworth could be part of that mix as well, helping with an interior pass rush (also in sub packages, where the Patriots particularly needed a boost). The Patriots were in sub more than 50 percent of the time last season.
Haynesworth was at his best when playing in the 4-3 scheme with the Titans, and seemed to prefer that over the Redskins' 3-4, so it will be interesting to see how he adapts to the way the Patriots utilize him.
With Wilfork, Warren, Haynesworth, Marcus Stroud and six-year veteran Mike Wright, the Patriots have five veteran players complementing some younger options such as Myron Pryor (third year), Ron Brace (third year), Kyle Love (second year) and Brandon Deaderick (second year).
Not all figure to make the final roster, so how things shake out will be one of camp's big storylines.