This could be the last we’ll hear of trade talks about Washington Redskins’ defensive tackle, Albert Haynesworth… at least until the first day of Training Camp.
According to Redskins.com, head coach Mike Shanahan has said, in English that cannot be misconstrued, misunderstood or misinterpreted, that the big man is going to be wearing the burgundy and gold come September 12, 2010.
Over the last several weeks there have been many rumors about the Redskins trading Haynesworth. The Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions have all been said to have been interested.
Shanahan said during an interview last Friday evening with Rich Eisen of the NFL Network that Haynesworth isn’t going anywhere.
“No, it’s not going to happen,” he said. “There have been a lot of rumors and a lot of speculation going on here for the last month, but Albert Haynesworth will not be traded.”
There were two issues that initially caused the speculation about a possible trade. One of them was the word that defensive coordinator Jim Haslett was changing the Redskins’ defensive scheme from the 4-3 to the 3-4. According to ProFootballTalk.com, Haynesworth has made it clear that he has no desire to play “nose tackle” in a 3-4 defense. The veteran player has been a three-technique lineman in a 4-3 defense throughout his 8 year career and loves to rush the passer.
The other issue was that of Haynesworth choosing to work out away from Ashburn during the voluntary off-season programs, which Shanahan made clear were important for the players to attend.
The defensive lineman attended the first day of voluntary team events for orientation but then failed to return after talking to the head coach about working out on his own. It was reported by ESPN that, although it was Haynesworth’s plan to report to training camp in July in better condition than last year, Shanahan was displeased with his intended absence. However, according to the Washington Post, General Manager Bruce Allen recently said he was not disappointed about Haynesworth doing his own thing because the off-season programs are voluntary.
There is no doubt about one thing: when healthy and motivated, Haynesworth is a defensive force to be reckoned with. If he returns to Ashburn in shape and things stay copacetic, the big man could make a difference in what has the potential to be an aggressive, productive defense. This is a must in order for Washington to be competitive against in the NFC East.