“There is nothing to clarify,” Shanahan said. “It is just speculation. He’s part of the
organization. I am just looking for him to come in and work and be like
everyone else. No, we’re not going to trade him at all, unless someone
gives us something we would have to consider — that’s pretty standard
with any player on your roster. He’s a pretty smart guy. He’s really
talented. I think I can get that out of him.”
And there it is. “Unless someone gives us something we would have to consider,” a sentiment that directly conflicts with Adam Schefter’s recent report, citing a high-ranking unnamed Redskins official, that Haynesworth “is, and will continue to be, the Redskins’ starting nose tackle.”
Translation? “You bet your sweet ass he’s available. We’re just trying to play hard to get in order to maintain a little leverage here.”
And the trade talk is not “speculation.” Haynesworth definitely was shopped before April 1, when he received $21 million from the Redskins. And if he definitely wasn’t available now, Shanahan only had to cite the $21 million payment and explain that teams don’t pay that kind of money to guys they want to trade.
Like Eagles coach Andy Reid, who proclaimed in January that Donovan McNabb would be the starting quarterback (and not of the Redskins), Shanahan can’t say in response to a question regarding Haynesworth’s status, “Yeah, we’re done with this guy. He got paid, and now he’s a load. I had a guy like that in Denver, Daryl Gardener. Sometimes it’s better to just cut your losses and move on.”
The latest rumor we’ve heard in this regard is that Shanahan has asked owner Daniel Snyder for permission to move Haynesworth notwithstanding the recent balloon payment. Said one league source as we attempted to corroborate the rumor, “Shanahan already has permission to trade him.”
The question remains whether someone will help the Redskins solve a major potential headache involving a guy who wants no part of the nose tackle position in a 3-4 defense. At three years, $16 million, the contract makes sense. The sticking point will be the compensation to the Redskins — and the amount of the refund from Haynesworth that the Snyder would want.