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Redskins, Haynesworth are suddenly playing chicken

After two days of rampant reports that the Redskins are shopping defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, the Redskins have spoken.

Sort of.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who once authored a book with Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and who widely is believed to still have a direct pipeline to Shanahan, has broken his curious silence regarding the Haynesworth situation.  Citing an unnamed “high-ranking Washington source,” Schefter reports that the Redskins are not “determined” to trade Haynesworth.

But Schefter’s report contains two strong clues that, in our view, represent an effort by the Redskins to get under Haynesworth’s skin, possibly in the hopes of getting Haynesworth to pay back a large chunk of the $21 million he received last week in order to facilitate a trade.  Specifically, Schefter’s source says that “Haynesworth’s name has not come up in any trade discussions since March 31,” which means that on and/or before March 31, Haynesworth’s name did come up in trade discussions.  Which means that the Redskins are letting the world know that, indeed, they have shopped the man who was the crown jewel of the 2009 free-agency class.

More significantly, Schefter’s source also said that Haynesworth “is, and will continue to be, the Redskins’ starting nose tackle.”  Those last two words are powerful; Haynesworth has made it clear that he has no desire to play “nose tackle” in the new 3-4 defense that the Redskins are installing.  Characterizing Haynesworth as a “nose tackle” surely is aimed at reminding Haynesworth that, if he stays, he’ll be expected to do something he doesn’t want to do.

Schefter’s version comes at a time when three other NFL writers — Jason Reid of the Washington Post, Jason La Canfora of NFL Network, and John Clayton of ESPN — have reported unequivocally that Haynesworth remains available.  Our guess is that Shanahan is using his relationship with Schefter as a way to apply the brakes to what quickly was becoming inevitable, and in turn to squeeze Haynesworth into coughing up some of that large pile of cash he received last week, if he wants to avoid playing “nose tackle” in the Redskins’ 3-4 defense.

Finally, we’re compelled to point out once again a clear conflict between two ESPN reporters.  It’s quickly becoming a trend, and the editors need to do a better job of harmonizing these reports — or of acknowledging that one of the two reporters necessarily is wrong.

In this case, someone definitely is.  Said Clayton on April 5:  “What is clear is that the Redskins are willing to part with Haynesworth,
according to multiple sources.”

Bottom line?  We think that Reid, La Canfora, and Clayton are right — and that Schefter’s report in a roundabout way confirms that fact.

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19 Responses to “Redskins, Haynesworth are suddenly playing chicken”
  1. Mooch says: Apr 7, 2010 9:35 AM

    Cue DMac Excuse #211
    “McNabb would have won the Super Bowl in Washington if only he had a defense.”
    McNabb, the only “HOF QB” who needs the best team in the history of the league to win a title.
    He’s Boomer Esiason 2.0.

  2. wryly1 says: Apr 7, 2010 9:39 AM

    Too often, Schefter’s ‘sources’ are players agents who have a very one-sided and self serving agenda – which is why he often has to eat his words.

  3. Chapnasty2 says: Apr 7, 2010 9:41 AM

    It is nearly 4 hours since I have been keeping track….. this is the second post about skins/eagles that provides no new news or insight.

  4. Cleg says: Apr 7, 2010 9:42 AM

    I am liking Shannahan more and more.

  5. gldnboot13 says: Apr 7, 2010 9:44 AM

    Why does every ESPN analyst have to agree on a rumor? Every reporter has his/her sources. That’s why you have multiple reporters who can go after a story from multiple angles. To say that ESPN needs to harmonize their reports is absurd and just means they’d be manipulating the sports public even more than people already accuse them of. I say let each reporter do their job and try to track down the best information possible. Don’t always point out potential biases with every story as a way to degrade a reporter and just give your own opinion on the story. Or hell, get your own quotes so you don’t have to degrade other reporters who actually seem to be going out and getting information rather than making up rumors.

  6. irishgary says: Apr 7, 2010 9:47 AM

    I signed a $100 million dollar contract, but I don’t want to play where you want me too. Screw the team, I’m fat Albert.
    Another great signing Danny boy.

  7. Bucfs says: Apr 7, 2010 9:49 AM

    I’d like to the see the Bucs make a run at him
    D-Line: Stylez G. White-Haynesworth-McCoy/Suh-(Brown?)
    Bucs could pick up Haynesworth, draft another D-tackle (either suh or mccoy) and pick up that Brown dude thats supposed to meet on thursday
    We can do this bucs! upgrade the line!
    remember parethesis (however relevant) are unnecessary

  8. LionSunBlock says: Apr 7, 2010 9:54 AM

    Hey Albert, Jim Schwartz would love to have you in a Lions’ uniform. Give us a call!

  9. Slack jawed Yokel says: Apr 7, 2010 9:54 AM

    Let this fat boy go! Get me some picks! Albert is a window licker!

  10. OtisDelmas13 says: Apr 7, 2010 10:00 AM

    You are an angry little man huh?
    Never a positive comment about any team mentioned on PFT.
    Are all ND fans as whiny and sour as you are?

  11. jasncondit says: Apr 7, 2010 10:03 AM

    Report — Albert Haynesworth just agreed to stay with the team after he heard the words “Chicken” and ate his fill at the team’s kitchen.

  12. owumd says: Apr 7, 2010 10:03 AM

    If Clayton says “the Skins are willing to part with Haynesworth” and Schefter says “the Skins aren’t determined to deal Haynesworth” that isn’t a contradiction. How can a lawyer be so terrible at parsing the nuance of a sentence?

  13. filthymcnasty says: Apr 7, 2010 10:04 AM

    Butterworth is gonna eat dat chicken.

  14. raider_from_az says: Apr 7, 2010 10:06 AM

    @Cleg shanahan is a tool. the only reason the redskins might succeed is bruce allen. but shanahan will be there to take all the credit im sure

  15. Topher says: Apr 7, 2010 10:27 AM

    In order to have contradictory reports the reports need to contradict.
    The following is true in every report:
    The Redskins are willing, even eager to trade Haynesworth if certain conditions are met but are content to keep him on their roster if those conditions are not met.

  16. Elwood-Blues says: Apr 7, 2010 10:29 AM

    Those comments by ESPN reporters are not contradictory.
    Just because the team is “not determined to trade” Albert does not mean that the team isn’t “willing to trade” him. I don’t see what you are fishing for here.

  17. MotorCityKitties says: Apr 7, 2010 10:30 AM

    Fat Albert almost spit out his bologna sandwich when he read this. He doesn’t want to be in DC, he misses the BBQ in Memphis.

  18. Dapollock says: Apr 7, 2010 10:31 AM

    If they really want him to pay back the bonus, tell him he’s the new strong safety or punter.

  19. smiley says: Apr 7, 2010 10:31 AM

    The game is on…..NT or trade big boy? This is Shanahan’s team. Hail!

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