This won't be an especially long post, but I was asked this afternoon why we insist on talking about Haynesworth.
I hate talking about Fat Albert. The topic grew old for me over a year ago. But it has been the topic that has kept on keeping on and as we make our way back to real football, it jumps right back to the front page.
We have questioned whether or not he was worth the money.
We have questioned whether or not he was a good fit for our team before and after he was signed.
We have questioned his commitment to being a great football player.
We have questioned Shanahan's handling of the situation.
We have questioned whether or not losses could have been cut already via trade.
We have questioned whether or not losses could have been cut already via release.
We have questioned the character of the man as he earned one criminal accusation and charge after the next.
We have questioned whether or not a new season would bring a new player, a new player-coach relationship and/or a new team dynamic.
We have questioned, debated and argued all of this and more.
And still this topic continues to give. Unfortunately, now the debate is beginning to center around the potential for this issue to completely kill our locker room before the season even begins.
I have been adamant that we have to get value in return for Haynesworth in any trade. I have been firmly on the side of Shanahan in his stance that the Redskins simply can't let this player "win."
Now that we are in Day One of the new NFL year, I think I am ready to change my mind. It occurs to me that the greatest value the team can receive is by cutting loose this embarrassment of a football player.
What are players being asked about today? What are guys who are getting back to football for the first time in months being forced to comment on today?
For a team looking to build on the meager success it had in 2010, this distraction could prevent any and all progress. The power struggle between Haynesworth and Shanahan is being watched closely by important players in our locker room and this lose-lose struggle is threatening to further poison the young corps of our team.
A second round draft pick won't get us Brian Orakpo back if he gets fed up with the way the organization is handling this. A second round draft pick won't get us Leonard Hankerson back if he becomes infected with the disease that afflicts rookies who would rather be learning how to play in the NFL instead of being pestered about such situations.
I'll go further. Let him sign with Philly. I would LOVE it if he stays in our division. It is a lose-lose situation for Haynesworth if you ask me. On one hand, this story will follow him wherever he goes. He will never be able to shake the fact that he was a $100 million bust. Whether he plays well or plays poorly, it will always be question he will get asked.
But what if he plays well and dominates in Philly, including his visit to FedEx? Well, then his legacy will be cemented. He will officially be a guy who refused to perform for an owner who made him one of the wealthiest players of this generation. He will officially be remembered as a player who pouted his way out of a situation he very well could have thrived in. He will officially be the poster boy for crybaby, pussified athletes that consider themselves better than everyone else.
This kind of man does not deserve to share a locker room with Brian Orakpo, or London Fletcher. This kind of man does not deserve to share the field with LaRon Landry, or even Ryan Kerrigan.
The freedom the players in our locker room will feel once this man is cut loose is worth 20 second round picks. The positive traction Shanahan will gain with the leaders on our team by making this decision will go a long way toward strengthening the team and could impact games this season.
P.S. As much as I believe everything I just wrote...I would also like to bench his ass on a weekly basis just to stick it to him. Perhaps Haynesworth's ability to draw out such negativity is yet another reason we all need to move on.