One of the cliches iterated ad nauseum, which I found early in life to be true, is "never burn your bridges." Whether it's running into people you met previously at parties, bars...or even old jobs. It happens all the time - the lesson in life, don't be a prick, you're going to run into that person again (and maybe she has hot friends).
Well, athletes throw that pearl of wisdom back into the sea once those lottery-sized paychecks roll in. It's pretty easy to tell people to F-off when you have millions of dollars. "Screw you. Trade me or release me - I'll never run into you again, and I don't care if I do." Well, that's not entirely true.
Keenan McCardell, the current WR Coach of the Redskins, was drafted by Joe Gibbs in the 12th round of the 1991 draft. He also played his last game as a Redskin in 2007. Flashback to the summer of 2004. McCardell was coming off a career year - 1,100+ yards, 9 TDs, and 2 Super Bowl TD catches. He's halfway through his 4-year contract with the Bucs (slated to make $2.5 and $2.75 the next 2 years) when he decides he's worth a lot more than that - holdout. Even though he was 34 years old, he felt he was worth another $2mil a year, which is what the elite WRs were making.
"It's pretty simple. I want a new deal and the Bucs don't want to pay me. I'm a Pro Bowl receiver, so basically we might as well go our separate ways...Trade me or release me. Yeah, why not? They don't want me back there, so it's time to move on."
Tampa Bay GM, Bruce Allen, was having no part of it stating that McCardell was one of the highest paid 34 year-old WRs in the league, and he has 2 years left of that contract to honor.
Keenan skipped training camp as a result, and the Bucs put him on the inactive list. He was later traded to the Chargers for 3rd and 6th round picks. To make matters worse, the Bucs won a grievance and got $1.5mil back from McCardell. HOLDOUT FAIL. Haynesworth of course did his homework and plans to attend training camp to avoid such paybacks, but it's not going to be a smooth sailing.
The moral of the story is: Bruce isn't bluffing.
"Keenan, obviously, made a decision a long time ago that he wasn't going to be happy with the economics of his contract,'' General Manager Bruce Allen said during an afternoon news conference. "It was a good trade for the Buccaneers, only because of the players we have that are performing for us. Time for us to move on. We're looking forward to the future.''
Both Shanahan and Allen have iterated time after time they only deal with players who are there. I really find it hard to imagine they let Albert just walk back into camp like nothing happened. So, it looks like Albert is in for miserable ride. I bet the coaches are going to make him run all over the place in that glorious, DC humidity to the point he literally just site. As for McCardell, he had a horrible first year in San Diego and only managed one solid year the rest of his career. Point - Allen.