Friday, October 1, 2010
Los The Fallen
I really can't tell who really qualifies as "The Fallen" in this scenario; Albert Haynesworth or the Washington Redskins. I would be willing to bet this isn't exactly what either side signed up for. On one end you have the Redskins who thought they were acquiring the most dominate defensive lineman in the league. But what exactly have they gotten from their "$100 million dollar man"? A total of 39 tackles (only 2 this season), lackluster effort, a mini camp holdout and a huge media distraction for a team that is attempting to flourish under new coach Mike Shanahan. Some people will argue that Haynesworth played his hardest during a contract year in Tennessee, but truth be told he was a first rounder back in '02 and has always performed at an above average level, and he is still in his prime. Do your homework. But clearly, this current version of Haynesworth is not what they paid for.
Looking at the situation from Haynesworth's perspective, and you can also make the argument that he hasn't gotten quite what he expected as well. Haynesworth was expecting to play in a 4-3 defense that gave him the opportunity to exploit one on one match ups and make plays in the backfield. He is now being asked to simply take up space in the 3-4 scheme so the linebackers can get all the glory. It's not quite a glorified position and not necessarily the route to being known at "the greatest defensive lineman to ever play the game" (as Haynesworh stated in this interview with ESPN recently). But it's also hard to have any sympathy for a man who cashed a roster bonus check for $21 million even after knowing what he was getting himself into. But I digress.
I think the perfect solution for the scenario would be for Albert to put up or shut up. His antics during the off season; like skipping off season condition programs and a mandatory mini camp. That only works if your last name is "Favre". He also stated that the $100 million contract doesn't make him a slave. This is true, but not a very wise analogy. He cashed the check, so that makes him responsible for upholding his end of the bargain, whether he like it or not. A person can't get promoted to fries at McDonald's, take the pay raise and then protest because Mickey D's switched grease. It doesn't work that way, player. The Redskins can't release him because that would be like throwing money in the trash since Haynesworth has $41 million of the deal guaranteed.
Looks like both sides have to just bite the bullet and make the best of what is looking real similar to a bad marriage with no pre-nump. Maybe the light bulb come on for Hayneworth and he buys in, or maybe Shanahan loosens the vice grip and lets Albert make more plays in the backfield, or maybe he should make a call to Phil Jackson and find out how he got Dennis Rodman under wraps back when he was helping the Bulls win championships. Just a thought.
Either way it looks like both sides are stuck together tight now, for better or for worse. Might as well make the best of it and start winning some games before they're both long gone...