What do you do if you are Dan Snyder, Bruce Allen, Mike Shanahan or any of the Redskins decision makers when it comes to Albert Haynesworth today?
Through his agent, Chad Speck, the big money DT told the Washington Post that he will not be in attendance for the ‘Skins mandatory minicamp—and wants a trade.
A trade? Haven’t we been down this road before? We all know Haynesworth wants out of Washington. I have talked to people inside the building at Redskins Park this offseason who told me they are actively trying to move Haynesworth. However, do you really want to trade a player after giving him $32-million already for one year of service on a bad football team in 2009? Big price to pay, even if you can find a team who is willing to take on the rest of his existing contract.
My initial reaction to this: pick up the phone, make a deal and send him out of town.
But, that isn’t logical because the guy can play football. I don’t care what type of defensive front you put him in, he is going to cause disruption at the line of scrimmage—because he can be that good on Sundays. Plus, why should Snyder or Shanahan give into a player's demands in June?
The solution here is simple: fine him—repeatedly. Fine him for skipping this weekend (which is over $9,000 for the camp) and then fine him for every single day he skips out on training camp, which can get expensive at a rate around $16,000 per day. You want to get the attention of a player? It’s simple, go to his wallet.
That is the professional way for Shanahan to go about this, and what I expect him to do. Haynesworth is under contract. This isn’t a holdout, but more so a demand. And, the ‘Skins don’t have to settle for anything. Fine him until he shows, and when he does drag himself over to training camp, sit him—for a while. Show him that he has to earn his job.
Unlike the Jets' Darrelle Revis, who has been at the offseason program and then pulled himself out of minicamp in a semi-protest, Haynesworth has never been a distraction this offseason.
Why? Because he has never been there.
Those players who will dress for practice today in that locker room haven’t been in a meeting, a conditioning session or a huddle with Haynesworth this entire spring. Instead, they have gone about their business the same as they always have. That won’t change today.
But, the point here remains the same: players, no matter how much they make, don’t do well with fines. It is the best way—and the easiest way—to grab their attention. And that is exactly what this organization should do until he shows up.
And count on him showing up for training camp—because no one wants to give up $16,000 a day. Then, he will have to answer to his teammates and the real story will start to unfold.
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