Apart from whether defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is worth the gamble for the Redskins (Clifton Brown thinks he is, yours truly doesn’t), there’s a bigger issue at play here, and it could hurt the NFL in the long run.
At a time when multiple NFL franchises — including the Redskins — are laying off good, honest, hard-working men and women, how does Haynesworth merit $41 million in guaranteed money?
In any other profession, Haynesworth would have been fired (if not imprisoned) after attacking a co-worker by stepping on his head with a serrated shoe.
Instead, Haynesworth has been rewarded with the most guaranteed money that any NFL player ever has received.
So what message are the Redskins (and, indirectly, the NFL) sending by making Haynesworth filthy rich at a time when more and more pro football fans are struggling to make ends meet?
The disconnect is glaring, and the league risks a backlash from the paying customers.
Then again, no amount of bad publicity has caused the American public to turn its backs on the greatest sport there is.  But few football-related controversies have resonated with the average person like this one could.
For the record, I hope it doesn’t.  But I won’t be surprised if it makes some fans at least reconsider their passion for the game.
At least until the games start again.