Just over two years ago, Albert Haynesworth used the 14.5 sacks he accumulated in Tennessee between 2007 and 2008 to bolt for Washington. Haynesworth signed a seven-year deal worth $100 million, with $41 million of that greenery going directly into his pocket as guaranteed money.
I don’t need to list the impressive circus he’s staged since then, but I will anyway. He’s grumbled about his status in the new 3/4 scheme when Mike Shanahan first came aboard, took his $21 million bonus despite not wanting to play, requested a trade, failed multiple conditioning tests at training camp, lashed out at his coaches, lied down on the job after losing his starting gig, was eventually suspended for four games, and then took his anger out on a man driving a truck.
Whew, did I miss anything?
Despite all of this, he’s still a Redskin and hasn’t been traded or released. Washington isn’t able to make either move right now given the ongoing lockout, but shipping out the league’s symbol of petulance will be difficult regardless. Releasing Haynesworth is an undesirable option because of Washington’s financial commitment, and teams are highly hesitant to take on such a headcase.
But it’s widely assumed that Shanahan will ensure Haynesworth is playing elsewhere whenever football is played again. Haynesworth’s fellow defensive lineman Jeremy Jarmon isn’t so sure.
During an interview with Hogs Haven, Jarmon said that his gut has spoken, and it says Haynesworth could stick around.
Me personally, my gut tells me that Albert will be a player for us this year. That is probably not the politically correct thing to sit here and say and speculate because I don’t know what they’re saying in the front office and I respect everything that they’re doing up there, but when Albert played for us last year, I think that he was effective. Unless we can get some conversation from him through some kind of trade outlet like that, that’ll he be a player for us this year. Talking to Albert I think that he’ll be fine with it and a more expanded role and I know he was kind of disappointed not playing more last year. He wants to be a Washington Redskin. There’s just been so bumps in the road and things like that. Hopefully at some point they’ll get those things ironed out. He’s a hell of a player. If anyone told you they didn’t think that they’d be lying to you because we know his potential. We know what he’s capable of and we’ve seen it.
It may only be from a second-year player who has started one game, but Haynesworth has a shred of support amongst his teammates. Jarmon’s comments are the polar opposite of the ripping Haynesworth took from veteran Phillip Daniels back in December.
Jarmon’s likely not correct in his prognostication that Haynesworth will remain in Washington, but he’s certainly right on one count. When he’s mentally in the right space and he logs the proper time and effort, Haynesworth can be one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the game.
It’s too bad we haven’t seen that player in two years.