Shanahan: Haynesworth will be with Redskins on Sunday
ASHBURN, Va. – Albert Haynesworth isn’t going anywhere, at least not for now.
Addressing the latest trade reports concerning the troublesome defensive tackle, coach Mike Shanahan on Wednesday said Haynesworth will be a member of the Washington Redskins when they open the season Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
“Albert will be with our team on Sunday,” Shanahan said.
There was a lot Shanahan didn’t say. He didn’t deny the trade talks. He wouldn’t say whether Haynesworth will play. He didn’t say whether he and Haynesworth have put their differences behind them. And he wouldn’t commit to having Haynesworth on the roster the entire season.
On Tuesday, two people with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press that the Redskins were talking to the Tennessee Titans about trading Haynesworth, who has been a nonstop headache for Shanahan in the coach’s first year in Washington. Haynesworth played seven seasons with the Titans before signing a $100 million contract with the Redskins as a free agent last year. The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the talks were confidential.
Asked about the trade talk, Shanahan said: “We’ve heard all these rumors and speculations. … Albert had a great practice today, and he’ll be ready to go this weekend, and I think we’ll leave it at that.”
Asked whether he would listen if a team called to ask about a trade for Haynesworth, Shanahan reiterate his stance.
“If he wasn’t here (Sunday), I think you’d call me a liar, wouldn’t you?” the coach said. “And you’d have the right to do that.”
Asked whether Haynesworth will play, Shanahan launched into a lecture about “competitive advantage,” saying it shouldn’t be revealed whether a player is a starter, backup or not suiting up. Haynesworth is listed as the backup nose tackle on the depth chart publicized on the Redskins’ website, and he’s spent the majority of time working with the backups since his first practice of training camp.
Shanahan and Haynesworth have been at odds ever since Haynesworth decided to skip the offseason conditioning program and ask for a trade because he didn’t want to play in a 3-4 defense – despite accepting a $21 million contract bonus on April 1.
Haynesworth wasn’t allowed to practice at camp until he passed a conditioning test, and he was made to play the entire fourth preseason game – when all of the starters had the night off.
But Shanahan said things aren’t as bad between the two as people might think.
“You might not think we never communicate,” Shanahan said. “But we do sometimes.”
Yet when asked directly if his issues with Haynesworth are over, and if Haynesworth will be with the team for the entire season, Shanahan clammed up.
“I will talk about the Dallas Cowboys,” Shanahan said. “I’m not going to talk about that. We’ll go through every situation. We’re beating a dead horse.”