The offseason is a time for every team to hit the reset button, to learn from past mistakes, and to begin to look toward the next season.
But not for the Redskins, who seem to be content to continue to wallow in their blunders of 2010.
On Thursday, General Manager Bruce Allen said that defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth and quarterback Donovan McNabb will be leaving the team “[n]o time soon,” according to Jason Reid of the Washington Post.
The game is obvious. The Redskins intend to try to trade both players. The market for Haynesworth has plummeted after his four-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team; Allen has now embarked on a fairly transparent effort create the impression that the team still wants Haynesworth, in the hopes that someone else will give up something of value for him.
“We were hopeful that he was gonna help the team win, and we remain hopeful that he can help the team win,” Allen said.
The same reasoning applies to McNabb, but the Redskins have a drop-dead date for dumping him. On the eve of the regular season opener, his $2.5 million base salary becomes guaranteed. The day after the first regular-season game, his $10 million option bonus is due.
Look for McNabb to clamor constantly for his release, so that he can land with a new team and make proper preparations for the 2011 season. And look for the presence of both men to continue to provide a distraction for the organization. And look for coach Mike Shanahan to be as hard headed as ever regarding his trade expectations.
Complicating matters for the Redskins is the labor uncertainty. If the event of a lockout, the new league year may not begin until a new deal is negotiated. Thus, the window of trading either player may not open until May or June or July. Or August. Or September.