Has the Saga Ended?
Washington Redskins DL Albert Haynesworth not being traded was one of the biggest news stories of the week in the printed press and over the airwaves?
Why was this such big news? Who was it that said Albert Haynesworth would be traded?
Shouldn't this have been a non story ? If not, why can't I find any reports about the other 1600 or so players that weren't traded?
Albert Haynesworth signed a four-year, $48.2 million free agent contract that had $41 million guaranteed back in 2009. The deal has always been reported to be worth $100 million over seven years which is about as accurate as the reports that Haynesworth and the Redskins would part ways prior to the NFL's 4 pm trade deadline on Tuesday. Well Albert was still the most talented DL on the Redskins roster as the clock struck 4 pm and the contract is still not a worth $100 million. The $41 million in guaranteed money is really only $39 million after Haynesworth decided to skip mini-camp this offseason. Rumors of a impeding trade have been front page news since the hiring of head coach Mike Shanahan according to multiple nameless league sources. Before the draft these sources linked the Redskins to trade talks with the St. Louis Rams, the Oakland Raiders, the Detroit Lions, the Carolina Panthers and the Tennessee Titans. The Titans were considered the front-runners for the “$100 million Man” but the head coach of the Titans told the press “I have not had behind-the-scenes meetings with our people. There have been no discussions. He is under contract with the Redskins, and we are dwelling on the draft right now.” Haynesworth was reportedly offered to the Philadelphia Eagles as part of the Donovan McNabb trade but the Eagles had no interested in Haynesworth.
This was right around the time Haynesworth decided that he would skip the offseason workouts, what is not clear is, if one action produced the other. When he showed up for training camp Haynesworth had to pass a conditioning test before he could practice because he missed more than the allotted number of OTA sessions. Following several failed attempts and and a knee injury, he finally passed the test on the 10th day of camp. Haynesworth then missed another week of camp due to a illness that still hasn't been pinpointed. By the time September rolled around those with knowledge of the situation were all over the place, Haynesworth was definitely not going to be on the 2010 Washington Redskins final roster. By now Haynesworth had been tagged as a locker room cancer, and his battle with the new coaching staff was becoming a major distraction, and would be cut if the team couldn't find a trade partner (the Titans were the only team that was still interested in him by this point). Once the final roster was set Haynesworth was still with the Washington Redskins, it was reported that he would be inactive for the season opener.
When Jeff Fisher was asked how close the two teams were to making the Haynesworth deal he said, “That was all you guys talking, It was no different than us having conversations with any other club. We have each other’s phone numbers. Clearly there are good players all around the league that we would like to have,’’ Fisher said. “But those teams recognize they are good players and don’t want to give them up.’’
Most reports said the Redskins wanted the $21 million back and that was the reason Haynesworth wasn't traded before the draft, then after he was paid the bonus money, it was the Redskins wanted too much in return to complete a trade. More than likely he wasn't traded because the team didn't want too trade him.
In April the press said the Redskins were going to trade Haynesworth to get picks in the second or third round on this years draft, it didn't matter that coach Mike Shanahan said "No it's not going to happen, There's a lot of rumors... but Albert Haynesworth will not be traded." From the start the reason Haynesworth was been shopped was because he refused to play in the 3-4 scheme, it didn't matter that Haynesworth said “It’s different, but I like it. It’s something I’ve got to get used to, but other than that, it’s going to be a good defense, They allow me to pass rush and everything like that, which is really important to me.” It was even reported that coach Shanahan had designed the conditioning test so Haynesworth wouldn't be able to pass it. Jeff Fisher said the Titan use same conditioning test that Haynesworth failed. With Haynesworth being a locker room cancer and “nothing but a distraction and a detriment to this team” I think it is odd that RB Clinton Portis said "They (the media) want Haynesworth to be an outcast...but nobody in the locker room will. I think we know what Albert's capable of doing and we know he can help this team. We just got to get him to believe and understand he going out to play for the guys in the locker room. Whatever going with the front office or the media, we can't control that. But what we can control is the opportunity that we got to play for each other." or that LB Brian Orakpo said "Right now, we're happy with Albert as far as him being here, putting everything in the past, and ready to roll. You can't go on the past. Like I said, we have a situation where we sat down and moved on. We're trying to move on as a team, as a whole and as a defense, And every time he's out there with our group, he's a main factor out there for offenses to double-team, triple-team. At the same time, he still makes plays for us. I'm excited when he's out there, regardless of what the media thinks of him.
General Manager Bruce Allen said over the weekend that Albert Haynesworth would not be traded and Monday night coach Mike Shanahan said there was "a pretty good chance" that Albert Haynesworth would not be traded before Tuesday's NFL trade deadline, yet when he wasn't traded the media was shocked. With all of their nameless league sources being wrong about nearly everything they told these reporter why didn't they believe two people with knowledge of the situation, one of them happens to have final say over personnel matters.
This article was released on 2010-10-20.
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