Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth was a no-show this weekend for the first mini-camp under new head coach Mike Shanahan. The camp was “voluntary,” and I’m not going to put a ton of stock into practice in April when it comes to the 2010 season, but that still doesn’t hide the fact that there’s an issue right now in Washington.
The players in that locker room know it, and even though they will always give the benefit of the doubt to a teammate when it comes to anything business related in the league, this can’t drag on any further than this weekend.
Depending on whom you talk to, Haynesworth is up for sale despite the overwhelming amount of credit he was given Sunday by new defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, who wasn’t shy when talking about what the DT tackle could do in his 3-4 scheme.
Does that mean Haynesworth is off the market?
Not really, because Washington — despite the big money it has already paid Haynesworth — will listen to offers if they come in. As Michael Lombardi pointed out yesterday in his Sunday Post, the Lions might be a possibility, allowing Haynesworth to reunite with his former coach, Jim Schwartz. However, Lombardi didn’t give it the best odds of happening.
Washington and Haynesworth might just be stuck together for at least the 2010 season. As I’ve said before, I still believe he can he dominant in any scheme. Playing the nose or the DE spot in Haslett’s system, he would still be disruptive. He might not fill up the box score like he would playing in a 4-3, but the impact on the defense will be there — if he puts in the effort to learn and study the new defense.
But the question remains if Haynesworth isn’t traded. All this positive talk coming out of Redskins Park yesterday about the defensive tackle might just be that — talk — in a week where everyone is telling stories. However, if he’s still a Redskin after the draft, is there a major distraction coming? Maybe, despite what seems to be a backpedaling effort right now from the ‘Skins coaching staff.
That’s what I’m wondering, because Haynesworth knows that his name has been floated to teams, and he also knows that if the right offer comes along this week, he could be gone.
And Shanahan and Haslett will have to find a way to push this guy, make him buy into their system and make him accountable, not only in his preparation but his play on Sundays.
I like what the Redskins have done so far this offseason with the move for Donovan McNabb, the added competition they brought in for running back Clinton Portis and the lack of big-time spending from owner Daniel Snyder — the same big-time spending that now has them in this mess with Haynesworth.
We can all have opinions and sources when it comes to finding out the right story about Haynesworth, but what Washington needs to prepare for is the idea that he could still be on their roster next week after the draft.
Because after the moves they’ve made so far, they don’t want a distraction or more of what they saw this weekend when one of the highest-paid players in the league bailed on their first organized team activity — even if it was “voluntary.”
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