When the Washington Redskins made defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth a very happy man with a seven-year, $100 million contract, they had to know the risks involved.
Those risks are now being felt.
Haynesworth hasn’t even spoken to head coach Mike Shanahan since he was hired. He has missed every practice, mandatory or not. He has openly asked for a trade, a release and has gone on record as saying he wants no part of the nose tackle position in Shanahan’s 3-4 defense.
“Albert hasn’t been here. He has no idea what type of scheme we’re running,” Shanahan said. “All he envisions is a typical nose tackle from what I read.”
From what he head? Haynesworth is putting his position on the team at risk.
“All our players play multiple positions,” Shanahan added. “If you are a defensive end, you have to play nose tackle. You got to do what is best for our football team.”
Even former Redskins have an opinion on the matter.
“My two cents worth: Albert Haynesworth needs to get his ass out of town and go somewhere else,” said kicker Mark Moseley, the 1982 NFL MVP. “And I think if the Redskins could do that, they would do that. I don’t know the background of all of it, the money parts of it, but when you have a player like that that is that disgruntled, get him out of here. He’s a cancer to these guys.”
“These guys here today are the players that want to play,” Moseley continued, nodding toward the practice field. “They’re the players that deserve to play and when you have a player like that, I don’t care how much money he makes it’s not worth having a disgruntled player in here to spread cancer among the team.”
These are harsh words. Former Redskins front-office man Vinny Cerrato, who was instrumental in bringing over Haynesworth, offered his thoughts:
“When he signed, he said he wanted to prove everybody wrong,” said Cerrato, the team’s executive vice president of football operations during the 2008-09 seasons. “He said he wanted to show everybody that it’s not about the money. He said he wanted to be the best that ever played. He said he wanted to be like Reggie White. He said Reggie White was his hero, so live up to what you said. Don’t have it change just because a coach changed.”
It’s clear that Haynesworth has upset almost everyone associated with the Redskins. There’s no end in sight to his holdout, the only way he’ll be back is if he makes the decision on his own terms.
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