Haynesworth was benched for more than 20 minutes of Sunday's 24-20 loss to the New York Giants and didn't play after the nine-minute mark of the third quarter. Since the move comes after the trade deadline, teams have until 4 p.m. tomorrow to claim Haynesworth.
The Patriots traded for Haynesworth during training camp, ending Haynesworth's troubled tenure with the Washington Redskins.
There were reports that Haynesworth and Patriots defensive line coach Pepper Johnson had a heated exchange on the sidelines during the game, but the Patriots pointed to his absence as a result of the defensive rotation.
“We had a lot of defensive linemen active and so they played in different rotations,’’ Bill Belichick said yesterday. “Vince [Wilfork] is a guy obviously that we don’t want off the field, but the rest of those guys, they can’t all play. One guy plays for a while and then somebody else plays and they rotate."
Haynesworth had three tackles in six games for the Patriots.