Could Haynesworth Decide to Play Dirty?
The Albert Haynesworth situation has gotten very, very ugly. The first day of the Washington Redskins mandatory minicamp was Wednesday and Haynesworth was, as expected, a no-show. The contract he signed with Washington in 2009 made him the NFL’s first $100 million man and included a $21 million bonus that was given to the defensive tackle on April 1st. Now that Haynesworth has quickly shown he is the anti-team player and is missing mandatory camp, the Redskins are attempting to recover that money.
When Haynesworth came to the Redskins it appeared he would be an enormous boost to their defense. Somewhere over the course of the year last season, he became frustrated with the way the team was using him. His discontent grew stronger when Mike Shanahan was hired as the team’s head coach and he found out he would be used more in a 3-4 defense in 2010, chewing up blockers and acting as more of a nose tackle than a play maker. Apparently a contract worth $100 million means nothing if he can’t have the spotlight and now Haynesworth wants out.
Pro Football Talk has raised an interesting question regarding how far Haynesworth will be willing to go to sabotage his current team and force his way out of town. When the Redskins signed Haynesworth — very early on the first day of free agency — he spoke about having met with the team for a long time and being convinced he was the perfect fit for the organization. The timing seemed fishy and it seemed likely that the team had met with the defensive tackle before free agency officially got underway. As a result, the Titans cried tampering and asked the NFL to look into the matter, but nothing ever came of it.
Now, Haynesworth is claiming the Redskins promised him certain things before he signed his contract and that they aren’t living up to their end of the bargain. Is it unimaginable that he would come out and admit — likely in a subtle manner — that he had these discussions with the organization before free agency officially began? It’s an interesting point to raise, and we’ll just have to wait to find out if he’d go that far.