Shanahan: 'Pretty good chance' Haynesworth won't be traded
With Tuesday's NFL trade deadline looming, General Manager Bruce Allen recently said the Redskins do not plan to trade defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, and Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday there was "a pretty good chance" Haynesworth would remain with the team, though the coach declined two opportunities to rule out a trade.
Addressing reporters Monday at Redskins Park, Shanahan discussed his reasoning for holding out Haynesworth from Sunday night's 27-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at FedEx Field. Haynesworth told teammates he would have preferred to play, two team sources said, but Shanahan assigned him to the inactive list.
With the trade deadline set for Tuesday at 4 p.m., Shanahan acknowledged that he could provide an answer as definitive as Allen's, "but if I said that, then you guys would know for sure. So I just kinda try to keep ya' guessing a little bit. You just never know. There's a pretty good chance, though, that he won't be traded."
Haynesworth's name has been mentioned in trade speculation since shortly after Shanahan was introduced as the new head of the football operation in early January. Haynesworth expressed frustration about Shanahan's decision to scrap the team's successful 4-3 scheme for a 3-4 base front - in which Haynesworth would move from a three-technique tackle to a nose guard - and requested to be traded before skipping the team's mandatory June minicamp.
Throughout the offseason, preseason and early this season, Tennessee was believed to be highly interested in reacquiring Haynesworth, who was drafted by the Titans and spent his first seven seasons with the organization. But Tennessee was not willing to meet the Redskins' asking price for a two-time all-pro player who was paid $32 million before the start of the 2010 season. Haynesworth has a base salary of $3.6 million season.
Haynesworth missed his second consecutive game following the death of his younger brother in a motorcycle accident. Haynesworth, who was given the use of a Redskins private jet to help his family, missed the Week 5 victory over the Green Bay Packers after traveling to Nashville, Tenn., to tend to family matters stemming from the accident. He then traveled to Hartsville, S.C., to make final arrangements for his brother, Lance McCoy, 23, and missed the first day of practice Wednesday in preparation to face the Colts.
On returning to Redskins Park, Haynesworth told teammates Thursday he was ready to resume work. He participated in practice Thursday and Friday and took part in the walk-through Saturday before reporting to the team hotel Saturday night.
Players who miss practice will not play, Shanahan said, and Shanahan apparently decided earlier in the week to hold out Haynesworth after he didn't attend the first day of the work week for players.
"You take a look at somebody when they come in [and] they haven't worked out for seven days," Shanahan said. "You kind of have an idea [of what he would decide]. ... Then, you see where they are mentally. You kind of get a feel physically and then you make a decision based on what you think gives you the best chance to win."
Apparently, Shanahan was concerned about Haynesworth's mental state after suffering the loss of his brother.
"There's a lot of things that were weighed in that evaluation," Shanahan said. "It's not just based on what's best for our football team. Sometimes it's based on what's in the best interest of him."
Shanahan's decision stirred media speculation that the Redskins were holding out Haynesworth in hopes of moving him before deadline. In his best performance since the scheme change, Haynesworth was a disruptive force in the Week 4 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Redskins face the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Solider Field.
"He's getting some conditioning in, getting back in the flow of things," Shanahan said. "Hopefully, once we start practice on Saturday, he's feeling pretty good, [his] mind-set's ready to go ... and he'll be ready to go this week."
And in all likelihood, that will be as a member of the Redskins.
"God, I'll be so glad when that's over with so we don't have to talk about this anymore," Shanahan said. "We've been answering this question for the last six months every day. You'll just have to wait and see."
| October 18, 2010; 6:28 PM ET
Categories: Albert Haynesworth
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