Though rumors that the Redskins are willing to trade defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth haven’t subsided, Titans coach Jeff Fisher has gone on the record to make one thing clear.
He hasn’t talked to the Redskins about working out a deal to bring Albert back to Tennessee.
“There has been some speculation that I’ve had conversations with Mike
Shanahan, which is false,” Fisher said, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “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.”
Though the headline in the Tennesean indicates that Fisher said Haynesworth won’t be back at all, we see nothing in the article suggesting that the door is closed. Instead, Fisher says only that there have been no talks, that Haynesworth is under contract with the Redskins, and that the head coach “doesn’t deal in hypotheticals.”
The position makes perfect sense. Last year, the Titans instigated a tampering investigation regarding their belief (and the belief of everyone with a beating heart and an ounce of common sense) that the Redskins were talking to Haynesworth’s agent, Chad Speck, about a contract before the free-agency period opened. Fisher hasn’t remained the head coach of the Titans for 16 years without being really, really smart. And he’s smart enough to not give the Redskins (or anyone else) ammunition to argue that, in the end, the Titans are hypocrites.
Here’s the deal. If the Titans truly have no interest in Haynesworth, they can say so, loudly and clearly, without running afoul of the tampering rules. Fisher didn’t. And that means the door is still open, even if by only a crack.