This is the time of year when usually unbelievable NFL head coaches become even less believable.
And so it’s no surprise that Redskins coach Mike Shanahan now says not only that defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth isn’t available via trade, but also that the team has not discussed trading any player on the roster since Shanahan joined the organization.
“There has not been one mention about trading Haynesworth or any other
player on this football team since I’ve been here,” Shanahan said, according to Jason Reid of the Washington Post. “The
only person that I’ve allowed to talk to other teams is Jason Campbell. I
want to get a good feel of the people that we have on this team. I’m
not looking to trade anyone on this team.”
Hey, if you’re gonna lie, you may as well lie big.
Apart from Adam Schefter’s April 7 report that strongly implied — if not outright stated — that Haynesworth was shopped before earning a $20 million bonus on April 1, we’ve heard from multiple sources that, indeed, the Redskins were trying to trade Haynesworth before that date. Others have reported that he remains available.
Of course, Shanahan likely doesn’t care whether the rest of us don’t believe him. He has only one person in his intended audience: Albert Haynesworth. And with no one apparently offering much for the erstwhile nine-figure player in the days preceding the draft, Shanahan needs to get Haynesworth to realize that he’s not going anywhere.
And if Shanahan is the bad cop, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett is the good cop.
“Albert is a guy that we’d love to have here,” Haslett said, per Reid. “We’d love to have him now. He’s a very talented
player, a very smart player, a guy that can play almost any position.
“I think he’s athletic enough to play anything. And when he does
show, he’s going to have to pay all three positions and nickel and dime. He’ll play tackle, he’ll play end. Hopefully, he comes soon because
there is a lot to learn. But I’m exited about the opportunity to work
Bottom line? As the Redskins install a 3-4 defense, they need Haynesworth to start learning his new position, whether it’s nose tackle, defensive end, or a combination of the two, as soon as possible. His absence will serve only to make things more awkward when Haynesworth shows up, and it’ll make the transition even harder, both for Haynesworth and for the team.
For now, Shanahan is trying to get Haynesworth to realize that staying away won’t result in the player being traded. The sooner he realizes that, the better off both sides will be.
Unless, of course, the Lions or the Titans step up with a good offer — and if Haynesworth is willing to cough up a large piece of that $20 million he just received.