Tampa Bay claims defensive tackle Haynesworth off waivers

(Reuters) - Underperforming defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, cut on Tuesday by the New England Patriots, has been claimed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team announced on Wednesday.

To make room for 10-year veteran Haynesworth, twice a Pro Bowl player during his years with the Tennessee Titans, the Bucs released defensive tackle John McCargo.

Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said he reviewed all of New England's game tapes for this season, watching each of Haynesworth's 134 snaps on defense twice before putting in a claim for the massive lineman.

"I have had a chance to talk to him already and he was, as you would hope, excited and fired up," said Dominik on the team's website (www.buccaneers.com).

"He asked how soon we could get him a flight because he wants to be in tonight and go to practice tomorrow. That was very encouraging."

Tampa Bay has a 4-4 record and trails New Orleans (6-3) and Atlanta (5-3) in the NFC South.

Haynesworth, 30, has failed to produce the form that made him a standout on the defensive line in seven seasons with Tennessee before his trade to Washington for the 2009 season.

The beefy defensive tackle reported out of shape to Washington and was at continual odds with the coaching staff there over how he was used before being moved to New England.

Haynesworth clashed with Redskins coach Mike Shanahan a season after being signed to a $100 million free-agent contract by Washington's previous coaching-management regime.

Dominik said Haynesworth would be more comfortable in the Bucs' defensive system.

"He's disruptive still," said Dominik. "He can overpower his opponent.

"(Head) coach (Raheem) Morris is excited about it and we're looking forward to moving forward with Albert Haynesworth."

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York, Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)