So the Redskins have suspended Albert Haynesworth for four games, which also happens to be the rest of the season. Claiming that Haynesworth demonstrated "conduct detrimental to the club," the Redskins are also saying that Haynesworth had stopped talking to Mike Shanahan and that he refused to play in certain defensive packages during games. Obviously there's much more behind this fiasco, and things are far from over.
It would be hard to argue that any single party in this matter handled things well. It's also possible that the only reason the Redskins didn't release or trade Haynesworth this season was to build a case against him, including all the negative things he's done in a Skins uniform (and there's a lot of them), and go after not only the rest of his salary this season, but also some of the $21 million bonus he received before the season (in April).
Lots of fans and commentators have been talking about how it's just Haynesworth's fault or that Shanahan's huge ego is to blame. Many have also blamed Dan Snyder and the departed Vinny Cerrato for signing Haynesworth to begin with; remember, Shanahan and Bruce Allen didn't bring him in, though they knew dealing with him would be part of the job. In actuality, they're all at least partly to blame. Shanahan and Haynesworth seemed to butt heads from day one, and the trouble really began with the whole conditioning test debacle that lasted way too long. If Shanahan really didn't want Haynesworth on the team anymore, Allen could have dealt Haynesworth away to the Titans at some point during the season, but they either asked for too much in return or really weren't that serious about a trade. And Cerrato and Snyder made the huge mistake of not doing their homework and making Haynesworth the highest paid defensive player in the league two seasons ago. Switching to the 3-4 defense also looks like a huge mistake, not only because the Redskins front office had to know that Haynesworth would not be happy, but because the entire defensive unit has been abysmal.
But for those people who think that Haynesworth is only playing a small part in this matter -- and believe me, there are some people out there who think that everyone is to blame except Haynesworth -- do me a favor and watch the play below.
You've likely seen that play at least a few times by now. Is that really the guy you want to defend? Does that look like someone who loves the game of football, like he says? Or is that someone who just quit on this team and his teammates when they needed him most?
Haynesworth's appeal of the suspension should be coming soon, and this situation won't go away for at least another few weeks -- and maybe not until the season is over and the Redskins officially get rid of Haynesworth. So there's always that to look forward to.