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Redskins Reportedly Sign Donovan McNabb to $40 Million Contract Extension

I don’t think I’ve seen a contract extension that has made less sense than the one reported by ESPN’s Michael Smith on Monday. Smith reports that the Washington Redskins have signed Donovan McNabb to a five-year $78 million extension with $40 million guaranteed. Apparently the deal could be worth up to $88 million based on incentives. That’s strong money for a quarterback who turns 34 years old in 10 days and who was benched in favor of Rex Grossman two weeks ago.

What makes the deal so surprising is the timing. $40 million guaranteed is a lot of money even for a quarterback of McNabb’s quality, and it probably would have made sense had it been agreed upon prior to the start of the season. But McNabb has been solid, not special through eight games with the Skins this year. Moreover, all indications were that Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan were “disenchanted” with Donovan. There were reports that Mike Shanahan was unhappy with McNabb’s practice efforts, conditioning, and understanding of the offense.

Given that the biggest event following McNabb’s head-scratching benching in favor of Rex Grossman was a monstrous contract extension, my sneaking suspicion regarding Shanahan’s motivation has been confirmed. I speculated all along that Mike was playing a mind game with Donovan, trying to motivate him to play his best the second half of the season. If you remember in 2008 McNabb was benched during an atrocious showing against the Ravens. His next game, he threw for four touchdowns in a 48-20 Thanksgiving night win over the Cardinals. There’s no doubt Shanahan is trying to get the same reaction from McNabb.

Icing the Kicker Works to Perfection for Kubiak, Texans

Icing the kicker can have a tendency to look like an unnecessary waste of time when a game comes down to a last-second field goal attempt.  On Sunday, we were given a prime example why the practice is so common.  The Washington Redskins and Houston Texans played to a 27-27 tie through regulation and the Texans ended up taking the game 30-27 in an exciting overtime.

After the Texans opted to punt instead of trying a 52-yard field goal with their first possession of extra time, the Redskins drove the ball to the Houston 34 and were in place to try a 52-yard field goal of their own.  Mike Shanahan made the decision to try the kick rather than punt and Skins kicker Graham Gano drilled the field goal.  It appeared Shanahan’s squad had improved to 2-0 on the season.

The only problem with that is Texans head coach Gary Kubiak called time out to ice Gano at the last possible second, nullifying the kick.  You can guess what happened on the second field goal attempt.  It went wide right and the Texans took over.

What seems like an annoying practice turned into a brilliant coaching move for Kubiak, as his squad drove the field and put Neil Rackers in position to drill the game-winning kick — a 35-yarder.

Oh yeah, and Matt Schaub threw for 497 yards.  Couldn’t get to 500?  What a bum.

Haynesworth: Redskins Intentionally Making Me Look Bad

The spat between Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and Albert Haynesworth took yet another turn this week. Haynesworth missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday because of “headaches” according to the team. The massive defensive lineman then didn’t enter Saturday night’s preseason game against the Ravens until the second half and was not happy about it. After the game, he let loose on the Skins without holding back his true feelings. If you want the full feeling, video is below. Here’s the meat of his complaints from CSN Washington:

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Haynesworth Gets Karma at Camp by Failing Second Conditioning Test

albert-haynesworth-redskinsI couldn’t help but smile on Thursday when I heard that Albert Haynesworth had failed the conditioning test that he needs to pass in order to participate in training camp. You can only imagine my joy when I heard that Mr. Haynesworth failed again on Friday morning. In my opinion, it’s all just Karma for the Redskins defensive tackle.

2010 has been quite the year for Haynesworth. It all started when he decided he didn’t want to be a team player and show up for two voluntary minicamps. Apparently, he thought his absence would suddenly change the mind of defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and he would leave their defense at a 4-3 instead of the 3-4 that Haynesworth doesn’t like. Well think again. Then he had some baby mama drama with his ex-girlfriend who is apparently pregnant with his child. If things weren’t bad enough with this guy, he not only took the $21 million bonus the team gave him on April 1st, but then it looked as if he was trying to destroy the Redskins too.

So I say Ha! Haynesworth’s behavior is finally catching up to him. When he finally decides he wants to play with the Redskins, he can’t pass the test. It’s awesome. The funniest thing about Friday’s failure was that he needed to complete the first part of the test in 70 seconds or less — and he finished in 71 seconds. Just a thought, but maybe you wouldn’t be in this situation if you showed up for minicamp like the rest of your teammates? Oh well, what goes around comes around.

Sources:
Haynesworth fails 2nd conditioning test [AP/FOX Sports]

Redskins Have Every Right Not to be Happy with Haynesworth

albert-haynesworth-redskinsIt seems like everything I hear about Washington Redskins‘ defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth just makes me more and more mad. First, he didn’t want to show up for voluntary mini-camp. Then he was ignoring the woman who may be carrying his child. Now Mr. Haynesworth isn’t showing up for mandatory mini-camp and let’s just say his teammates aren’t happy about it.

We are in the month of June and the regular season is just three months away. This is the time that Haynesworth needs to be with his teammates to learn the new defensive structure that the rest of his teammates are learning. I can’t believe how immature he is being about all of this. He doesn’t like the way the defense is going to be run, so he’s just not going to be a part of the team? It’s absolutely ridiculous. I think his “teammate” (I’ll use that term loosely), linebacker London Fletcher, described the situation perfectly:

“Albert made a very selfish decision.  When you decide to play a team sport, you have to look at it and think about everybody involved in the situation. This is not golf, tennis, things like that, where it’s an all-about-you sport. What he’s decided to do is make a decision based on all-about-him.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Haynesworth has proven that he is not a team player and will probably be a cancer to any team he goes. I think the best thing that Washington can do is just release him and let him be another team’s problem. They obviously have other guys on that team who are devoted to each other and to learning their new scheme. And since Haynesworth isn’t, it’s time to say goodbye.

Sources:
Redskins Players Call Out Haynesworth [ESPN]

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.

Sources:
Haynesworth’s power play could include blowing the whistle on tampering [Pro Football Talk]
Sources: Team pursues bonus return [ESPN]

Washington D.C. Sports Teams Have Lots of Reasons for Optimism

Even though only one major sports team in Washington is still playing right now, things are already looking up for the rest of them. The Washington Nationals are sucking less than usual this year and are currently at .500 with a 22-22 record. (Maybe Obama throwing out the first pitch had something to do with it). The Nats are expected to call up their new ace, number one pick Stephen Strasburg which will only improve their pitching. But their good news doesn’t end there. The Nationals also have the number one pick for this year’s draft, and most people anticipate the team will select Sports Illustrated stud Bryce Harper. The Nats aren’t the only team with a bright future in D.C. — there’s plenty of reasons for optimism with all the teams in our nation’s capital.

First off, the Wizards won the 2010 NBA Lottery despite only having a 10.3% chance of doing so.  Now the Wizards just have to use their number one pick wisely. This will most likely mean drafting John Wall and hopefully getting rid of gun baring Gilbert Arenas. Doing so will potentially free up a large amount of money on the payroll and bring a true point guard to the team.

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