Maybe the Washington Redskins have limited themselves to window shopping in free agency, at least when it comes to the big-ticket items, because of the massive $21 million option bonus the team owes Albert Haynesworth this spring.
Whatever the case, the club is counting on much bigger things from the veteran defensive lineman in his second season, and Haynesworth will reportedly get off to the right start with the new regime by reporting Monday for the beginning of the (voluntary) offseason workout program at Redskins Park, reports Jason Reid of the Washington Post.
That’s a step in the right direction for Haynesworth, who at the end of the season last year admitted to being unhappy in former coordinator Greg Blache’s defense. As a league source said at the time, if he thought that scheme went against what Haynesworth wanted to do, just wait until he gets into the 3-4 defense Jim Haslett will run for Mike Shanahan.
Reid paints a positive picture, at this point, reporting that Haynesworth met with team officials in January when these changes were discussed. The Redskins know they need to get All-Pro level production from Haynesworth to justify the massive contract he got and make the defense go.
“The Redskins do not plan to use Haynesworth as a classic nose tackle, the team sources said,” Reid wrote. “Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett intends to use multiple fronts and envisions Haynesworth moving between the nose and end spots in hybrid alignments. With what Haslett has planned, the Redskins believe Haynesworth will thrive.”
That sounds good right now. But the Redskins can’t be in a hybrid all the time. Whether Haynesworth is askied to play the nose or end in a three-man front, neither spot is going to allow him the freedom he is seeking. If the two sides get off to a good start, perhaps they can find a situation where Haynesworth is happy. So far, so good. But we’re, oh, six months away from the regular season.
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