Kudos to the Redskins for suspending Albert Haynesworth

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 02: Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth  of the Washington Redskins stands on the sidelines during preseason NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 2, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Redskins 20-10. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

When it comes to the ongoing battle between Albert Haynesworth and the Redskins (especially head coach Mike Shanahan), I often feel as though the team should just cut its losses and move on. After all, Haynesworth doesn’t want to play for Shanahan, he doesn’t want to play in a 3-4 and obviously he’ll continue to be a distraction until he gets out of D.C.

But after giving it more thought, I actually like how the Redskins are handling the situation. Haynesworth reportedly showed up hungover to Friday’s practice and he also missed a team meeting. He apparently told GM Bruce Allen on Monday that he’s no longer speaking to Shanahan, who issued a statement saying that Haynesworth “refused to play in our base defense or on first-down or second-down nickel situations” and “refused to follow the instructions of our coaches both during weekly practices and during actual games.”

So the Redskins suspended him the final four games of the season without pay. Haynesworth will no doubt appeal the suspension and he may win after the NFLPA makes a case that the Redskins have no basis to stop paying him. But no matter how this situation ends (his tenure in Washington is almost surely over), kudus to the Skins for not giving in to what Haynesworth ultimately wants (i.e. to be released).

Shanahan has a massive ego and he is partly to blame for the way things turned out. Could he have handled the situation better and maybe turned a negative into a positive? Yes, but that ship has sailed now. It’s time for the Skins to put up a collective front.

They’ve already paid Haynesworth $36.5 million for two seasons and he’s done very little to earn that money. So why reward him by cutting him and giving him the opportunity to play elsewhere? If the Redskins aren’t getting what they want (i.e. a productive defensive tackle who doesn’t moonlight as a pain in the ass), why should he get what he wants?

Chances are this situation won’t go down smoothly but I applaud the Redskins for digging in their heels and not releasing him. Granted, it may be a stubborn move and let’s not overlook the fact that this is all Daniel Snyder’s fault for paying this guy millions of dollars upfront when Haynesworth had a history of being a malcontent. But at this point, I like what the Skins are doing.

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