Blame lies at Snyder’s feet for Albert Haynesworth fiasco

Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins NFL team, smiles on the field before their pre-season game against the Baltimore Ravens in Landover, Maryland, August 21, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Reed  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

If Daniel Snyder were looking for someone to blame for the way things have unraveled in Washington with the Albert Haynesworth situation, then all he has to do is plant himself in front of a mirror.

I get that this may be an oversimplified way of looking at the situation, but considering this could have all been avoided had Snyder not fallen victim to the same losing methods that he has embraced over the years, the situation is rather simple to grasp.

Haynesworth is who he is and the same goes for Mike Shanahan. As Shanahan has alluded to, Haynesworth is used to getting his way but that’s not going to fly with his new head coach, who has proven in his short stint with the Redskins that his players will fall in line. If you play for him, you’re going to do things his way, which includes practicing if you want to suit up on Sundays.

If Snyder wanted to avoid this situation, all he had to do was pass on cutting (figuratively, of course) Haynesworth a $100 million check last offseason. But because he had to have Haynesworth’s talent, it didn’t matter what the defensive tackle’s track record looked like.

And let’s look at that track record for a moment.

During the third quarter of a game against the Cowboys in 2006, Haynesworth removed center Andre Gurode’s helmet and then thought it was appropriate to stomp on the man’s head. Only he missed, so of course Haynesworth had to try again and this time, his foot connected with Gurode’s forehead, narrowly missing his eye.

That of course, wasn’t the first time Haynesworth tried to imprint the bottom of his shoe on someone’s body. During the Titans training camp in 2003, he also kicked former teammate Justin Hartwig (another center) in the chest and had to be restrained by his teammates.

And this is just what he has done on the field. He also has gotten into trouble with the law, which includes arrest warrants and two misdemeanor traffic charges. Given that he has avoided suspensions, there’s probably no sense in rehashing the details but clearly the man has some behavioral problems.

Despite his talent, these infractions coupled with his price tag would have scared most owners and general managers away last offseason when Haynesworth was a free agent. But not Snyder.

And now he has a problem, doesn’t he? He has a defensive tackle that he overpaid for that is butting heads with the man he trusts to turn his franchise around. Considering Haynesworth is only in year two of the ridiculous contract that Snyder gave him, the only thing the owner can do is hope the situation corrects itself.

This issue certainly isn’t irreconcilable either. Haynesworth and Shanahan can still come to an understanding and work together to help the Redskins win, although that will require Haynesworth shutting his mouth and coming to the realization that the team will come first in Washington.

But to barrow a line from Bill Parcells, the proof is in the pudding. What has Snyder won? Since he has bought the Redskins, the team has had a losing record. Times have changed in the NFL – teams have to build through the draft, yet Snyder continues to believe that overspending on high-priced veterans like Haynesworth is still the answer.

If you want to pin blame on someone for this Haynesworth fiasco, start at the top.

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