On Tuesday, I wrote about the Redskins trying to include Albert Haynesworth in the Donovan McNabb trade to the Eagles – a failed effort to pass off the massive burden of a $21-million bonus to the defensive lineman, who got his money last Thursday. Predictably, they had no luck finding a taker, although you can’t fault them for trying.
$32 million for one year???
Even after writing that check, could the Redskins still be trying to trade Haynesworth?
If a trade happened now, Haynesworth will have made $32 million for one season, 29 tackles and four sacks.
In 2009, Haynesworth was paid $11 million -- between a signing bonus of $5M and a salary of $6M—and has already made a bonus of $21M this year, paid in full on April 1.
Thus, over the past 13 months, he’s been paid $32M from the Redskins, roughly the payroll of the Pittsburgh Pirates or San Diego Padres.
Here are the guaranteed salaries remaining over the next two years (the contract lasts through 2015, but non-guaranteed years are meaningless at this point):
If there were a trade, a team could acquire Haynesworth for two years and $9M, 28 percent of what the Redskins have already paid him. That would be a no-brainer for any team that acquired him, even if he were a fraction of the player the Redskins thought they were getting.
The issue is not whether teams would want Haynesworth at that price. The issue is whether the Redskins would trade him after handing him $32M for one season.
Some have wondered if the Redskins could get Haynesworth to pay them back some of that windfall to facilitate a trade, which I’m sure they are trying to do, but there has to be something in it for Albert.
Haynesworth has not been in default on his contract. He might not attend the voluntary offseason workouts (the Redskins can deduct $500,000 from his guaranteed salary if he doesn’t attend 75 percent of the workouts) but has already pocketed the $32M. For Haynesworth to even consider paying any money back to the Redskins, there would have to be some serious upside for him from another team – in other words, a second megadeal in two years that makes him at least whole for what he would give back to the Redskins. Unlikely.
Some have also suggested the Redskins could receive money back from an acquiring team in exchange for Haynesworth. Not going to happen. The NFL player personnel handbook states that the sale or trade of player contract rights for any amount of money is prohibited as conduct detrimental to the league. Unlike the NBA or Major League Baseball, this is not allowed.
Portis may be the solution
One way a trade of Haynesworth might possibly work now is if the Redskins – akin to trades in the NBA -- find a team to dump another bad contract or two along with Haynesworth to ease their blow. The obvious candidate here is Clinton Portis, who has $6.43M of his $7.2M salary guaranteed for 2010.
In this scenario, the Redskins would be looking for a trade partner to take on Haynesworth’s deal and Portis’ deal to cushion the impact of the $32M paid to Haynesworth. Again, unlikely, but worth a shot.
Haynesworth had tremendous leverage a year ago and used it to his advantage, with a rock solid $21M last week as part of his $41M guaranteed. The Redskins’ buyer’s remorse is no surprise. As I always say, some of the best deals made are the ones not made.
I would be very surprised if the Redskins trade their $32M man. Yes, stranger things have happened, but if they did, Haynesworth would join JaMarcus Russell as players who have made the most money for the least production in the NFL.
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