Haynesworth Will Be A Redskin To Start The Year
After 6 months of constant stories and speculation Mike Shanahan announced that Albert Haynesworth will be on the Redskins sideline on Sunday night. While the speculation still remains that he could be traded at some point this season, Shanahan has closed the matter for this week. All I can say is it is about time. There is no reason that this is such a big story, Haynesworth hasn’t publicly demanded a trade or is holding out. Yet this seems to be the focal point of the Redskins and their players. Any interview we read about offense, defense or from the coaches the Haynesworth questions are asked.
Now hopefully the Redskins and the media can focus on football and not on making Haynesworth the boogie man. My only question is why did this take so long to come to terms with? Haynesworth was going to be a Redskin when they paid him that big bonus money earlier this offseason. And even after he was put off by the 3-4 defensive switch, instead of coddling him and showing him what great things he could do (like you typically see when an All-Pro QB or RB get placed in a system that isn’t usually their strength), they ostracized him. Which in a twisted fate sealed his presence on the team, as it killed just about all of his trade value. Which is apparent since the Redskins are only asking for a 2nd round pick according to reports, and the Titans were only offering a 4th round pick. Now the Titans didn’t offer a 4th rounder because that is what Haynesworth’s value would be on the open market or to them. No, they offered that because they thought that the Redskins were so desperate to get rid of him that they would sell him for pennies on the dollar.
Now it is interesting that the Skins only want a 2nd round pick for Haynesworth, whom according to ESPN’s Scouts Inc (subscription required) is the top rated defensive tackle in the league. Compare that to the 2nd round pick plus either a 3rd or 4th round pick they gave up for Donovan McNabb this offseason. Now McNabb is ranked 14th according to Scouts Inc and he was worth more in compensation. Now most people will say that a quarterback is worth more than a defensive tackle (I think it is a closer debate than you would think), and I believe that yes a Peyton Manning or a Drew Brees would be worth more than an Albert Haynesworth or Kevin Williams. But we aren’t talking an even comparison here, we are talking about a Franchise tackle compared to a pretty good quarterback. I’ll take that tackle any day of the week and twice on Sunday’s. Especially when you compare the two, McNabb is a 33 year old quarterback with one year remaining on his contract at $11.2 million. Haynesworth is a 29 year old tackle who over the next three years will make a combined $16 million. Now Redskins fans will say well we just paid him$21 million bonus, but that is what the Skins paid, not what the team trading for him would be on the hook for (i.e. the Titans). $16 million over the next three years is an extremely good price for a player of Haynesworth’s caliber, and alone should be worth a pair of first round picks plus additional considerations (which is why players of this caliber at this price are never traded).
On top of all the facts that Haynesworth is more valuable than McNabb, need is a greater factor as well. The Redskins could have easily stuck with the younger cheaper Jason Campbell, who had continued to improve each year. He might not be as good as McNabb (ranked 18th by Scouts) he also didn’t have the supporting cast McNabb had. The Titans on the other hand don’t have a defensive tackle ranked until 31st overall. They need Haynesworth much more than the Skins ever needed McNabb. But they aren’t going to pay full price, or the price his talent warrants because they don’t have to. The Skins have screwed him his value so much over the past 8 months that they don’t have a choice but to keep him (at least that should be made completely clear to them).