Dec 07, 2010 12:29 p.m.
The Washington Redskins may have voted Albert Haynesworth out for good.
The team suspended the defensive lineman, a lightning rod for controversy all season, without pay for the final four games of the season.
With a 5-7 record, there’s little chance the Redskins will reach the postseason, so Haynesworth may have played his final game for the Burgundy and Gold less than two years after signing a seven-year, $100 million contract with $41 million guaranteed in 2009.
“Despite the club’s numerous attempts to persuade Albert Haynesworth to abide by the terms of his contract, he has repeatedly refused to cooperate with our coaching staff in a variety of ways over an extended period of time,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said in a statement released by the team Tuesday.
“Among other things, he has consistently indicated to our defensive coaches that he refuses to play in our base defense or on first-down or second-down nickel situations. He has also refused to follow the instructions of our coaches both during weekly practices and during actual games as well.
“Yesterday, when Albert was at Redskin Park, he told our General Manager Bruce Allen that he would no longer speak with me. Although suspending any player is not a decision that a head coach enters into lightly, I believe the situation has reached the point where the club clearly has no alternative.”
Haynesworth’s agent, Chad Speck, says his client will appeal the suspension, which is the maximum a team can levy against a player on its roster.
“The accusations made by coach Shanahan and Bruce Allen are vague and without merit,” Speck said in a written statement.
“Since training camp began, today’s notice was the first that Albert received informing him that his conduct was not consistent with the ‘terms of his contract’ as coach Shanahan claims. Bruce confirmed to me today, that there have been no other letters or formal notices of any kind sent to Albert during the regular season suggesting that he was engaging in conduct detrimental to the team.”
The suspension will cost Hayneworth $847,000 in forfeited salary.
“Albert has repeatedly asked for a bigger role in the defense,” Speck said. “He simply wants to play and maximize his contribution to the team. It is unfortunate that he has not been utilized more.”
An all-pro with the Tennessee Titans in 2007 and 2008, Haynesworth never lived up to his megadeal after joining the Redskins.
He played 12 games in his preferred role as a one-gap defensive tackle in 2009. But he managed just four sacks and was often criticized for his conditioning in his first year with the ‘Skins. Despite that pedestrian performance, he never embraced the nose tackle role Washington wanted him to play after opting to go with a 3-4 defense under Shanahan, who was hired in January, this year.
Shanahan has contended he was open to dealing Haynesworth in the offseason, but expected him to play whatever position the team wanted after he accepted a $21 million bonus check in April.
Haynesworth subsequently skipped offseason workouts and missed much of training camp while Shanahan refused to let him practice until he passed a conditioning test which was waived for all players who showed up for spring work.
The issues between the disgruntled lineman and the organization seemed to come to a head Monday, a day after Haynesworth was surprisingly deactivated prior to the Redskins’ 31-7 defeat to the New York Giants.
In a radio interview with 106.7 The Fan, Haynesworth admitted being “a minute late” to last Friday’s practice.
“I believe there’s some kind of haters in the organization, that they don’t like me,” he said.
“I don’t know if it’s players, I don’t know if it’s coaches, I don’t know who it is. Obviously somebody who doesn’t like me, which is fine. But when you go out there and start making up lies, then, yeah, I’ve got something to say.”
Haynesworth vehemently denied speculation that he was hung over at the workout.
“They want to sit here and say I was hung over and drunk and something like that?” he said. “For these people to make up lies to try to make me look bad, it’s ridiculous.”
Regardless, the drama surrounding him and his lack of buy-in to Shanahan’s program was taking a toll in the locker room.
“Guys don’t want to say it,” Redskins DE Philip Daniels said Monday, “but guys feel the same way, man.
“If he put everything he had into football — I’m talking about the workout part of it, the weight room, just the learning the game, the studying of the game — he would be no doubt the NFL player of the year.”
However Haynesworth, who is 6-6, 335 pounds, didn’t feel he could make an impact absorbing blockers in the 3-4 scheme and only wanted to play on passing downs.
“They pay me this money: Let me play like I played in Tennessee. I will show you. I made a lot of plays in Tennessee; I can do the same thing here. All you’ve got to do is take off the dadgum leash and let me loose and you will see how great I am,” said Haynesworth on Monday, when he refused to meet with Shanahan.
“I want to play football; that’s what I want to do. Let me be great at it. Let me accomplish my goals. I want to be the best defense tackle to ever play this game.”
Haynesworth, who also missed time this season after the death of his half-brother in a motorcycle accident, didn’t start a game this year and finishes with 16 tackles and 2.5 sacks in eight appearances. He had 14.5 sacks in his final two years in the Titans’ 4-3 alignment.
Washington ranks last in the NFL defensively, surrendering 397.3 yards per game.
Albert Haynesworth was born on June 17th, 1981 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Haynesworth
6 + 17 +2+0+1+0 = 26 = his personal year (from June 17th, 2010 to June 16th, 2011) = In the news. The media. Speaking. Talk radio.
26 year + 11 (November) = 37 = his personal month (from November 17th, 2010 to December 16th, 2010) = Drinking. Alcohol. Haters.
37 month + 7 (7th of the month on Tuesday November 7th, 2010) = 44 = his personal day = Denial.