Haynesworth, Shanahan on a Collision Course

Jason Reid of the Washington Post comments on the battle of wills going on between Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan and defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth:

"As Rick Maese explained so well in an earlier post, Shanahan responds strongly when he determines players have disregarded his orders. And Haynesworth is planning to stay away from Ashburn for all but three days of the offseason?

Some players are privately monitoring the situation closely. In a text message to a reporter Wednesday night, one veteran said that, considering Shanahan has made it clear he's in charge, he could not imagine Haynesworth being on the roster much longer.

But as is the case with many things, the situation is complicated because of the money involved. Snyder has already paid a staggering amount to Haynesworth, who played in only 12 games last season. He had four sacks and was credited with 29 tackles. For all of Snyder's missteps as a hands-on owner, he has been very successful in the business world, and it's simply bad business to receive little return on a $32-million investment.

The Redskins would prefer Haynesworth to pay back some of the recent bonus he received to complete a trade that he too would welcome apparently. But that's probably not going to happen."

Haynesworth is a lot of things, but he's no dummy. He knows that a Shanahan, whether it's Mike or offensive coordinator/head coach-in-waiting Kyle Shanahan, are going to playing a prominent role within the Redskins' organization a lot longer than Haynesworth will be on the team, and that his Redskins' playing days might already be over, regardless of whatever financial transactions occur between himself and the team going forward.

So why return a portion (likely 80%, or $16.8M) of the $21 million dollar signing bonus the Redskins cut him on April 1, just to facilitate a trade that could happen without returning the money?

From the Shanahan's perspective, the milk has already been spilled. The culprit behind Haynesworth's albatross of a contract, Vinny Cerrato, is no longer in the building, and Shanahan and new general manager Bruce Allen aren't beholden to the deal, or the player. As much as that $32 million dollars might sting ownership, it's not their wound, so they needn't be apprehensive about ripping off the band-aid. Doing so might serve as a lesson to Snyder about his previous spending habits in free agency, and would be a sign that those days are a thing of the past for the organization.

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Holly's picture

April 08, 2010 at 05:39 pm

Curiouser and curiouser. This is a great take, Mac! I'm looking forward to seeing how this is handled. In the aftermath of the McNabb trade, about which many of my friends still have mixed opinions, this has to be the next issue that's dealt with if the team's going to move forward in any meaningful way.

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