Haynesworth claims they're trying to slander his name

With the walls seemingly closing in on Albert Haynesworth in Washington, the perpetually disgruntled defensive tackle has fired back. Again.

You have to wonder how much longer this is going to continue. Haynesworth was inactive for Sunday’s thumping at the hands of the New York Giants, and there has been widespread speculation he will be released by the team that signed him to a $100 million contract less than two years ago.

Teammate Phillip Daniels, one of the most friendly, professional and team-driven players you will ever come across, openly criticized Haynesworth on Monday, a startling development to anyone who knows Daniels. He said Haynesworth is dragging the team down.

Now, coach Mike Shanahan plans to meet with Haynesworth individually before the team practices on Wednesday before he will address the matter. Reports have swirled Haynesworth was hung over Friday at practice and he fired back in an interview with the Washington Post.

“I was not hung over," Haynesworth told the Post. "I mean, I did go out, but when I started feeling bad I went home. I mean, I go out every Thursday or so.

"Just because somebody goes out, that doesn't mean I'm out drinking and getting drunk. I've been in this game for nine years and been single, or without a wife, for a lot of that time. The bottom line is I wasn't hung over or anything like that. I want to make that clear."

Per the Post, a manager at a restaurant Haynesworth was at declined to comment on the player. The Giants ran roughshod over the Redskins and naturally one of the focuses became why Haynesworth was inactive for a game in which he certainly could have helped his team.

"Everybody wants to say whatever they want, just to try to speculate about why I didn't play," Haynesworth said. "Heck, I was sick before the game last week (against Minnesota). Does that mean that I was hung over or something like that? I mean, I didn't even go anywhere. But I was hung over, right?

"Everybody's just speculating and trying to say negative stuff about me. But they really need to look at what's the most important thing. I'm here, supposedly, to help this organization win games. And right now, we're not doing that. We're not putting the best players on the field to win games."

Said Daniels: “He let himself down. But in the process of letting yourself down, you let your teammates down in a lot of ways. I don’t think Albert ever bought into a 3-4. He spoke at times that he was good and he wanted to come in and do some things. He came in and everything was going so smoothly. Then the practice stuff, that kind of stuff. You’ve got to practice. That’s the problem with this team for a while now; guys not wanting to practice; guys not wanting to put forth the effort to help this team be better. If you don’t practice, you don’t play well. That’s been proven.

“Really, truly, I think everyone on this team is tired of talking about it. It drags you down," Daniels continued. "It doesn’t do anything for us in football. I’ll always care about Albert because he’s a guy I’ve been around and talked to and had good conversations with. But when you come to football it’s a business and that’s the side he has to understand.”

But, of course, Haynesworth sees it differently. He hasn’t devoted himself in practice but believes he should be on the field in the games.

"We're not putting the highest-paid guy, and a guy I think is one of the best defensive tackles in the game, on the field to try to help us win games," Haynesworth said. "They've got me sitting on the bench. So they're just trying to slander my name to say whatever they want, but we all know what the real truth is."

Anybody wondering if we’ll see Haynesworth on the field for the Redskins again?

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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