We were shocked last week when he heard that defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth could be part of a deal that would have allowed the Redskins to move from No. 4 to No. 1 in the draft, setting up the selection of quarterback Sam Bradford.
And we were shocked again when hearing on Saturday that the trade talks between the Redskins and Eagles for quarterback Donovan McNabb included the opportunity for the Eagles to take Haynesworth.
The Eagles didn’t want Haynesworth, but that hasn’t kept the Redskins from continuing the effort to move him. Jason Reid of the Washington Post reports that the Redskins are attempting to trade Haynesworth, and that a deal could be made before the April 22 draft. Jason La Canfora of NFL.com reports that coach Mike Shanahan’s initial meeting with Haynesworth “did not go well,” and that Shanahan wants to “break the culture of players being too empowered at Redskins Park.” (In this regard, Shanny may want to urge the guy who signs the checks to quit striking up friendships with them.)
Per La Canfora (as reported Monday by John Clayton of ESPN), the Titans and the Rams are believed to be in play for Haynesworth.
But what about the notion that the $21 million bonus Haynesworth earned on April 1 makes him untradeable? The Redskins potentially would get some of that money back from Haynesworth’s new team as part of a trade. Also, a trade in an uncapped environment would allow the Redskins to wipe Haynesworth’s contract off the books. Waiting a year or two would result in cap consequences, assuming that the salary cap returns.
Besides, it’s our understanding that the $21 million was backed up by future guaranteed salaries. Thus, even if the Redskins had dumped Haynesworth before the start of the 2010 league year, the Redskins would have been on the hook for all or part of that money. Given the high value that teams place on draft picks, the Redskins opted instead to pay the money and to preserve the ability to finagle value in exchange for Haynesworth via trade.
The question then becomes whether the compensation will come in the form of cash, in the form of draft picks, in the form of players, or in the form of some combination of the three. Either way, it looks like the market for Haynesworth is open. The question is whether anyone wants to mess with a guy who, as expected, became less of a player once he got paid.
UPDATE: The league office confirmed on Wednesday that teams cannot include cash as trade compensation. Thus, any money paid back to the Redskins would have to come from Haynesworth. However, it would be relatively easy for the new team to essentially be paying that money by reworking Haynesworth’s deal to give him a raise that fully or partially reimburses him for the money he would return to the Redskins.