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In defense of Haynesworth

At least three ESPN employees have stepped up this week to defend Albert Haynesworth. Because why not, I guess.

You've likely already seen Mike Wilbon's initial sort-of defense of Haynesworth on ESPN 980, where he argued that NFL teams are often unreasonable in their offseason requests. When the subject was raised on that day's episode of PTI, Wilbon had changed his argument, but he still said that Haynesworth's trade request was reasonable.

"I love this story, because players in the NFL, particularly, specifically the National Football League, are always expected to live up to their end of a bargain, a contract, and that's fair," Wilbon said. "But management? Never. Ninety percent of the time they don't give a damn about living up to their promises. And the Redskins, in the person of Dan Snyder, the owner, promised this guy -- from everything we know -- that he wouldn't have to play in the 3-4, he could play in a 4-3 and be aggressive.

"Then they hire a new coach, Mike Shanahan, a totally legit coach, who says No, I don't want that. So they went back on their promise. I'm laughing at it, because I don't care about Haynesworth, his teammates don't even want him, so trade him, fine. But management never lives up to their promises in the NFL."

Wilbon obviously is joking. There's no chance that he actually believes this. Just enjoy the experience, viewers. Then there was ESPN analyst Marcellus Wiley, who was asked on-air whether Haynesworth was being selfish. (Via The Beast)

"Yes, he is being selfish, very selfish, but the great ones usually are," Wiley said. "I mean, you're talking about a guy who's been asked to move his position without his permission, and that just doesn't happen usually in the NFL. I played with one of the greatest defensive players of all time, Bruce Smith. He was the right defensive end, and they never told Bruce Smith to move to the left side, they never told him to move out of that position unless he said I give you the permission to do it as a coaching staff and as an organization."

Words fail. Words are inadequate. Just hit your keyboard for a response. How's this: adsfijoasdfas.

And D.C. guy Patrick Hruby, writing for ESPN.com, lays out the case for Haynesworth, saying he's just playing his cards the way any of us would in this situation, doing the same thing any of us do when negotiating a car price or disciplining a child, using all of our power to our own advantage

Bottom line: Haynesworth doesn't deserve the flak he's receiving. And frankly, the flak is more than a little hypocritical. Fact is, he's doing exactly the same thing his use-and-discard NFL brethren would do if ownership didn't hold all the financial cards; the same thing panicking, overworked sports writers would do if the newspaper industry wasn't bleeding jobs like oil gushing into the gulf; the same thing all of us would do if we weren't running scared in a wheezing, job-poor economy.

He's dictating terms to his employers. Take this job and shove it? Not quite. But not far off, either.

Bah, to all of you. I'm all for devilish advocating, but every issue doesn't have two sides. The third U.S. goal on Friday morning should have been allowed. Armando Galarraga should have had a perfect game. And after agreeing to a $41 million football contract, Albert Haynesworth should show up for one day in June to play football.

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 18, 2010; 12:23 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Comments

Of course the 3rd goal should have been allowed. It's as if the US team got locked in a hotel room with Kobe Bryant.

Posted by: rdpinva | June 18, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

If Haynesworth had accomplished a damn thing worthy of note since arriving in Washington, or had spent any time getting to know and be known by the local fans, his resistance would be easier to sympathize with. As it is, this just compounds the image of a do-nothing making obscene money.

Posted by: tomtildrum | June 18, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse


But management never lives up to their promises in the NFL."

Is that because they're white Wilbon? Plain and simple, I can see through this race baiter.

Posted by: hessone | June 18, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"In defense of Haynesworth"


Steinz- I expected to click on this and find a blank page.

Posted by: 4-12 | June 18, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, no two sides at all, huh. Ok. Steinberg what if the Post gave you your payday check two weeks early and said "Oh we'll be expecting you to mop the floors for the next week. Take it or leave it."

Not totally equal to Albert's situtation but hopefully a little more realistic for everyone who likes to beat up on pro athletes.

Posted by: dirtylamb | June 18, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Patrick Hruby's a joke.

Posted by: RoachVA141 | June 18, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse


Seriously, no two sides at all, huh. Ok. Steinberg what if the Post gave you your payday check two weeks early and said "Oh we'll be expecting you to mop the floors for the next week. Take it or leave it."

Not totally equal to Albert's situtation but hopefully a little more realistic for everyone who likes to beat up on pro athletes.

Posted by: dirtylamb | June 18, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Aside from that being a completely ridiculous comparison, the fact is, he's getting paid an obscene amount of money and if he doesn't like it, he can leave. For him to expect to be paid for not doing his job is insane, and its even more insane to defend him for doing it.

Posted by: NomeMike | June 18, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"Seriously, no two sides at all, huh. Ok. Steinberg what if the Post gave you your payday check two weeks early and said "Oh we'll be expecting you to mop the floors for the next week. Take it or leave it."

Posted by: dirtylamb

If the paycheck was for 32 million dollars, I would think anyone in their right mind would grab a swiffer

Posted by: jbanks979 | June 18, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

He...took...the...check

What part of THAT is NOT UNDERSTOOD?

Wiley is like Lavar in that he always sides with the player based on the history of players getting the short end in the NFL. Most of us fall on that side too.

But this guy GOT PAID; this ain't a guy who is BARGAINING FOR A PAYDAY.

Fatsworth is wrong...period. He took the money and now does not want to perform.

Posted by: kahlua87 | June 18, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, Haynesworth is so wrong in this situation, that nothing negative that hadn't already been said about him could be written and these guys had a deadline to meet, so they made up this garbage. Haynesworth spent half the season on his belly wheezing. I never seen so many games stopped for a player who just couldn't breath because he was that far out of shape! The only ownership probelm, Wilbon. is that they gave this face stomping clown a contract that big in the first place! I hope they get at least some of their money back!

Posted by: Kolchak | June 18, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

People keep missing the forest for the trees on this story... it's not about him/defense switching, not about the money... it's about a guy that refuses to show up to his employer and talk it out and see exactly what the plan is. He can argue then, but it is less than professional to bark about it from a distance.

Posted by: law3 | June 18, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

It's true that management doesn't hold up their end of the bargain a lot of times and that players sort of have a raw deal with contracts that aren't guaranteed.

It's also true that the vast majority of NFL players, all of whom deal with basically the same conditions, handle themselves much better than Haynesworth.

Sure, other people are imperfect, some things are tough, but Haynesworth is still a scumbag. No getting around that.

Posted by: 202character | June 18, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"If the paycheck was for 32 million dollars, I would think anyone in their right mind would grab a swiffer."

Exactly.

It's all about egos, and all three of those guys above are dead wrong.

100%

Shanny had it on the money, he took the check....end of story.

He doesn't take the check, he gets released. Wilbon always tries to "stick it to the man" and in this case there's nothing to "stick it" to. He's looking at it through HIS eyes, not Haynesworth's. He even says "I don't care about Hanyesworth" which means it's all about Wilbon.

And Hruby isn't even on the same planet with his assessment. How the heck does getting millions and million of $$$ make you "running scared in a wheezing, job-poor economy???"

What part does "he took the check" do these a$$ clowns not understand???

Hey morons....he doesn't take the check he gets released.

He took the check.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | June 18, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Dirty lamb, what is this "beat up on pro athletes" stuff you're talking about? What are the pro athletes saying about Haynesworth? How is Haynesworth himself treating the pro athletes who are his teammates?

Posted by: 202character | June 18, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

>>
"Seriously, no two sides at all, huh. Ok. Steinberg what if the Post gave you your payday check two weeks early and said "Oh we'll be expecting you to mop the floors for the next week. Take it or leave it."

Not totally equal to Albert's situtation but hopefully a little more realistic for everyone who likes to beat up on pro athletes."
<<

Not even close to more realistic. It's more like the Post giving Steinberg a huge bonus check -- completely independent of his regular salary.

Posted by: smshadowman | June 18, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Please, in this economy, you do what the hell your bosses ask of you as long as it isn't illegal. I make decent money and have had to carry out some assignments that were not in my detailed duties when I took the position, its call other assigned dutie. Haynesworth behavior is akin to a big load of shiggidy. He needs to remember that what goes around comes around and ill gotten gains will be wasted. Karma is no joke.

Posted by: ivyleague | June 18, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Here's the difference.... if I got 21 million dollars, upfront to pay football... I would do or play of what I was asked...... In "the real world" of jobs... my responsibilities and duties change often. I have been told, this is your duties then was told , I just changed your responsibilities. it's called your job for the end result... success and the result of being able to come to work another day. this guy is flat out refusing to work when he is demanded of. I pull that crap in the real world, I am unemployed with no 21 mil nest egg to live off of and scrapping to survive.

Posted by: rvanags | June 18, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

"Seriously, no two sides at all, huh. Ok. Steinberg what if the Post gave you your payday check two weeks early and said "Oh we'll be expecting you to mop the floors for the next week. Take it or leave it."

Not totally equal to Albert's situtation but hopefully a little more realistic for everyone who likes to beat up on pro athletes."

I guess "Dirty Lambs" never heard of the line or statement in all employment atmospheres with the main parts of your job description called "Other Duties As Assigned"....in other words, nothing is guaranteed....again creating a culture where people do not have to follow rules....and the some folks in the media helping with this scenario....Sad

Posted by: ejharrisjr40 | June 18, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon - DINK
Wiley - DINK
Hruby - DINK

Posted by: jerod1 | June 18, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon = Tool

Posted by: dcunitedfan3 | June 18, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon = Mr Doodie


Posted by: hessone | June 18, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Haynesworth didn't just take the money, he made an additional agreement. The new coaching staff told him in February that they were switching to a 3-4 and that they'd understand it if he didn't want to play in it.

They OFFERED him the option of releasing him, which would allow him to be a free agent and sign anywhere he wanted. They told him that if he accepted the bonus on April 1 that they would expect him to get with the program and do what they asked him to do.

HAYNESWORTH AGREED!!!

(again)

HAYNESWORTH AGREED!!!

By taking the money, Haynesowrth committed to being part of the team, doing what the coaches asked, and playing in the 3-4. What he's doing now is breaking an agreement he made. He could have been a free agent and played wherever he wanted, but HAYNESWORTH chose not to go that route because he wanted the money.

So, here's what the Skins need to do:

1. Fine him the maximum amount.
2. Suspend him without pay until he reports as required by his contract.
3. Pursue legal/arbitration strategies to recoup bonus money Haynesworth has been paid.
4. Make the same offer to Haynesworth they made back in February. Trade or release if he'll give back the bonus he received in April.

Otherwise, let him rot.

Posted by: TheSecretWeapon | June 18, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

This is pretty humorous to me. Wilbon wishes he was ever an athlete; Wiley matches AH's selfishness; and I am not even going to comment on the last "nobody".

The fact of the matter is the guy got paid a ton of money and now he is whining like a little baby. He has, essentially, given the middle finger to his teammates; and assured himself that he will never get a significant, upfront bonus again.

If you an NFL GM, would you really want to invest in this guy? Granted, he is a beast on the field, but you never know if he will throw a hissy fit an not show up.

Posted by: BT23 | June 18, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing to me how people can defend this guy by stating that b/c the team wants to move him, he can act like he is 10-years-old.

Life is not fair, deal with it. I, and everyone else, who works knows that there are times where we must do things that we don't want but WORK DEMANDS IT

Amazing how greedy, arrogant, and idiotic these players are

Posted by: Bious | June 18, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Go Haynesworth.

Beat Snyder.


Any scenario that makes Snyder cry is the one I want to happen here. He must pay.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | June 18, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I like everyone on this blog am a 'diehard' redskin fan, however, I think we're truly missing the point here in regards to AH. Like it or not, he's the 'face of the redskins' and his salary dictates that. Have we ever in professional sports ask our 'stars' to change their positions? Has Peyton Manning or any other bonafide 'star' been asked to do this? Would Peyton Manning accept being a Wide Receiver? Just asking. Furthermore, we know that we have an incompetent owner and who knows what was really promised to this man!! Just saying!!

Posted by: thorlback | June 18, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

"Amazing how greedy, arrogant, and idiotic these players are"

No, it's amazing how greedy, arrogant, and idiotic Haynesworth is.

There are plenty of guys who show up to practice and learn different skills to contribute to the team.

Then there's Haynesworth.

That's what makes it worse. He's not saying "screw you" to management as Wilbon says, he's saying "screw you" to his team. Coach has a new scheme that might help us win? You guys are working to learn it? You could use my help because I'm a talented player?

Well screw you guys, you're on your own. I just don't feel like doing what I just signed up to do.

Oh, and all that money I just got paid means you can't get paid as much, because we all get counted in the same salary cap.

Posted by: 202character | June 18, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Thorlback - I'm sure Peyton Manning would be more than willing to learn a new offensive scheme that could help the team. He puts in a lot of work studying the game and practicing.

Not comparable to Haynesworth at all. Nor is the switch from DT to NT comparable at all to the switch from QB to WR.

Plenty of teams switch from 3-4 to 4-3 and vice versa and ALL of them ask their defensive players to switch roles to fit the scheme.

Posted by: 202character | June 18, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Thorlback - I'm sure Peyton Manning would be more than willing to learn a new offensive scheme that could help the team. He puts in a lot of work studying the game and practicing.

Not comparable to Haynesworth at all. Nor is the switch from DT to NT comparable at all to the switch from QB to WR.

Plenty of teams switch from 3-4 to 4-3 and vice versa and ALL of them ask their defensive players to switch roles to fit the scheme.

Posted by: 202character | June 18, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Thorlback,

How about Mike Piazza? How about Alex Rodriguez? Those guys aren't "stars"?

As previously stated, Peyton would play whatever was asked of him if it meant the chance to win. Haynesworth doesn't care about winning. He only cares about himself......and food.

Some diehard Skins fan you are, taking the side of the single player over the team. You are the reason Skins fans get mocked, too many of you knuckleheads at FedEx Field on Sundays.

Posted by: RobInVaBeach | June 18, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Go Haynesworth.

Beat Snyder.


Any scenario that makes Snyder cry is the one I want to happen here. He must pay.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | June 18, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

******************************

You're an idiot!!!!!

Posted by: byrdinthesky | June 18, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

In response to the Wilbon's comments, you know, sometimes it's actually NOT about race, but sh** just happens, or works out that way regardless of a persons color. For Wilbon to take the Haynesworth issue as an opportunity to argue that more players should rebel against the unfair demands and expectations of NFL management ("the Man" to quote Wilbon) is laughable. In too many of his columns he is oh so eager to make a racial issue out of a situation simply to exploit an opportunity to demonstrate the inherent oppressive nature of the white establishment and blacks as victims of EVERYTHING.

Sometimes guys are simply Aholes - and Haynesworth is a prime example and it has absolutely noithing to do with race or 'the Man'. The guy took the cash, he now needs to perform - it's that simple.

Give me a break.....

What I could do with $40 million....

Posted by: pwflew1 | June 18, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I am a Redskin fan of 60 years and that, in my humble view, gives me bad arteries and some moral standing.

Big Albert is not totally offbase in this holdout, folks.

The best coaches, from my long observation, look at the personnel and build the defense around it. Haslett and Shanny have not done that. I am here to tell you, this defense, and the team itself, will crash and burn this coming season. It is another case of round hole/square peg.

I suspect Vinny and Danny never committed their promises to Albert in writing. These snakes are the deplorable ones in all of this, not fat Albert.

I bet he is not in shape. But the issues here go far beyond him and touch on how this team will perform and promises being honored.

In addition, Albert should hang in there and tell his arrogant bosses to suck a big one.

In addition, does anyone have Gregg Williams' number?

Haslett is nothing more than a cheerleader. If we live and arteries don't get us, we will see that I am right about the Skins and Haslett this season.

Posted by: royhobbs56 | June 18, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I've said for years: why is an idiot reporter from CHICAGO reporting in D.C.? The man is, always has been & always will be, a moron. Go back to Chicago Mike.

Posted by: james51 | June 18, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

202 character and RobinVaBeach, Again you guys are missing the point. First of all, Peyton Manning and any other 'star' would not even be approach with such foolishness. I for one am totally disgusted with the faact that we even went after this guy!! It was proven when he was in Tennessee that he wasn't trustworthy. The fingerpointing goes back to Snyder. He has proven time and time again that he overpays for players. C'mon son, 100 mill to this clown? Maybe finally he has learned his lesson and just maybe all owners and gm's will think about putting a clause into player's contracts that they maybe asked to play another position. From what I'm reading, other nfl coaches and players are saying he is more effective playing the position he was brought here to play.

Posted by: thorlback | June 18, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Patrick Hruby is wrong about one thing. Albert Haynesworth is a diva. On every other point he is on the money right.

Posted by: filmjoy | June 19, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

What[THE-F]ever!! Some people(simpletons) like to go against conventional wisdom just to be heard and to stir up sht! Shut-theF-up!!

Posted by: iubiquity | June 19, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

This comes down to one thing.. well 2 actually:

1- If you knew you did not want to play here then why take our money? Why not speak up before you cashed the check?

2- You complained, whined and moaned last year when we were in a 4-3 all year!

Conclusion: you are nothing but a whiney little girl! I blame Vinny for this travesty against manhood!!

Posted by: iubiquity | June 19, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Haynesworth should have requested a trade before he cashed his bonus check. It is the right thing to do. He should realize that it is his responsibility to play for the Redskins now. It dosen't matter how much he dislikes the system.

Around my hometown I have heard many people say that the Redskins do not need Haynesworth. This idea is completely false. Even though he dosen't like the position Haynesworth is probably in the top 5 of best defensive lineman in the league. He was one of the reasons Orakpo had such a great season. When he is on the field he makes the Redskins defense so much better despite the underwhelming stats he put up last year.

That being said he is too much of a locker room distraction and is extreamly counter productive to the oranization. The Redskins should arrange for a buyout of something.

Posted by: Dlewis10 | June 19, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Haynesworth should have requested a trade before he cashed his bonus check. It is the right thing to do. He should realize that it is his responsibility to play for the Redskins now. It dosen't matter how much he dislikes the system.

Around my hometown I have heard many people say that the Redskins do not need Haynesworth. This idea is completely false. Even though he dosen't like the position Haynesworth is probably in the top 5 of best defensive lineman in the league. He was one of the reasons Orakpo had such a great season. When he is on the field he makes the Redskins defense so much better despite the underwhelming stats he put up last year.

That being said he is too much of a locker room distraction and is extreamly counter productive to the oranization. The Redskins should arrange for a buyout of something.

Posted by: Dlewis10 | June 19, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

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