Haslett: "Albert is a guy that we'd love to have here"
In the latest episode of As Albert Turns in Washington, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has come out and proclaimed that the organization has not discussed trading defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.
OK. And we’re to buy that?
The Redskins wrapped up their voluntary three-day minicamp today at Redskins Park without Haynesworth volunteering for the action. It’s believed that the Redskins could work to trade him between now and say the end of the draft in order to add some depth to their draft and, more importantly, rid themselves of a high-paid player who doesn’t want to be a part of the program.
Haynesworth cashed in with a $21 million roster bonus earlier this offseason and has now received $32 million from the organization, an astronomical amount for one season of service. But if the new coaching staff – Shanahan and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett – can’t make it work with him, what are they to do? New general manager Bruce Allen didn’t sign Haynesworth, but owner Daniel Snyder did and it’s his money we’re talking about here.
"Obviously, Albert's made a decision to do that (skip this minicamp and train on his own)," Shanahan said, according to Jason Reid of the Washington Post. "I'm hoping he comes in in great shape and can help our football team win."
Reid reports that Haynesworth would welcome a trade because he has no interest in playing in a 3-4 front like the one Haslett is installing. Haynesworth likes to be able to freelance and didn’t care for the scheme a year ago that the Redskins used under the guidance of Greg Blache. Now, it appears he’s facing the prospect of playing in a system that is even less appealing.
"Albert is a guy that we'd love to have here," Haslett said, per Reid. "We'd love to have him now. He's a very talented player, a very smart player, a guy that can play almost any position.
"I think he's athletic enough to play anything. And when he does show, he's going to have to pay all three positions and nickel and dime. He'll play tackle, he'll play end. Hopefully, he comes soon because there is a lot to learn. But I'm exited about the opportunity to work with him."
At this point, it would seem that the Redskins have two choices. They can hope that Haynesworth comes around and buys into the system and is a productive member of the defense, or a new regime can cut losses in what will go down as the all-time biggest free agent flop. Obviously, a productive Haynesworth makes the Redskins a better team and helps justify, to a degree, Snyder’s investment. An unproductive Haynesworth who doesn’t want to be part of the program won’t help things. Remember, Haynesworth was sent home from practice in December after he lobbied teammates in the locker room to show up late as he planned to do. When word got to the coaching staff, they sent Haynesworth home after he walked in late.
Come next Sunday – the day after the draft – it will be too late to deal Haynesworth and get any return in this draft.
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