The Washington Post

First Things First -- Tracee Hamilton on the latest sports news

Apr 08, 2010

Every morning, Post columnist Tracee Hamilton discusses the most amazing and outrageous news from the world of sports.

Today: Albert Haynesworth won't participate in voluntary workouts. Now he won't participate in next week's voluntary minicamp -- even though the Skins just cut him a check for $21 million. The Skins would like to deal him, but his ridiculously huge contract makes that difficult.

Like Queen Victoria, Mike Shanahan is not amused with Haynesworth thus far, and I don't blame him. This is a true standoff. What should the team do if Haynesworth won't toe the line? Can you just cut loose a guy to whom you owe so much money, even if you've got Snyder's checkbook? I say send a multi-million dollar message, but it's to say that when it's not my money. What do you say?

Today: Albert Haynesworth won't participate in voluntary workouts. Now he won't participate in next week's voluntary minicamp -- even though the Skins just cut him a check for $21 million. The Skins would like to deal him, but his ridiculously huge contract makes that difficult.

Like Queen Victoria, Mike Shanahan is not amused with Haynesworth thus far, and I don't blame him. This is a true standoff. What should the team do if Haynesworth won't toe the line? Can you just cut loose a guy to whom you owe so much money, even if you've got Snyder's checkbook? I say send a multi-million dollar message, but it's to say that when it's not my money. What do you say?

You all are reporting the Redskins are trying to trade him. ESPN is reporting that they are not. Who is right? Oh, and what do you consider poor subway etiquette? Take care ;)

Well, I'm going to go with Jason Reid and Rick Maese on this one. Someone is certainly telling them it's true.

Poor subway etiquette? Where to begin? Standing on the left side of the escalators. Blocking the doorways so people can't get off the train before you get on. Those are the basics.

And then there are the things I've experienced: mooning, flashing, masturbaters, urine and feces ... do you really want me to go on? Of course not!

Welcome, everyone. Let's talk about Albert.

Seriously, with all the problems with the Redskins - Shanahan is making a problem where none exists.

So you think it's not a problem to treat this guy differently? Why? I'm asking curiously, not confrontationally. The big complaint in the locker room  last season, especially after Jim Zorn was fired, was that there were double standards for a lot of players. This seems to be an extension of that.

And don't you have to draw a line somewhere? The guy plays when he wants, practices when he wants, works out when he wants. That's a good job right there...

While I'm pretty much a goody-two-shoes and Albert Haynesworth seems like a jerk, I have never understood how you can wind up in the doghouse for not participating in a "voluntary" activity.

On the other hand, I think it's realistic for a team to expect you to follow their off-season conditioning program. Look at Arenas -- had he not "done his own thing" in rehabbing his knee after his first operation, he might not have required the second.

True, it's hard to get worked up over missing "voluntary" things. The problem is, it's voluntary for everyone and when one guy blows it off it sets a bad example. Especially a guy who took a lot of plays off last season, a season that I might add, was wretched. But it IS voluntary.

The workout thing bothers me more. The guy needs to be in better shape. He took a knee during a snap count last season, for heaven's sake. And he hasn't done anything to earn the assumption that he'll take care of this on his own.

Pay him and trade him. Cut him if you have to just to make the point that it is 'my way or the highway'!

This is my inclination, too, but I'm a Midwestern work ethic girl. These guys work from July to early January, early February at the latest. Then they're asked to make a few appearances during their six months off at Redskins Park. It just doesn't seem that draconian to me.

Riodiculous for me to say, since my total assets are maybe $100, but I would let him go. The Redskins are already a huge money machine, and should be an even bigger one once Shanahan gets them winning (we can hope). Snyder can clearly afford it and wow, what a message to other malfeasants/goofers off. I assume someone would pick him up, though at a tiny percentage of his current deal. Or would he just go home and live off the interest on the $42 million he's already received? Even at 1%, that's a pretty nice piece of change.

I know, if feels strange to say it, and it goes against the grain to give him a dime, but I agree: what a message*!

* to send with someone else's money!

Fat Albert talked so much about becoming a player like Reggie White when he was introduced at his press conference. I'm sure Reggie is turning in his grave now. No way would Reggie behave this way. He was a great teammate and player from what I recall.

I just don't understand star athletes these days who feel that sense of entitlement. I would kill to be in position. I played football and i loved being around the guys, working hard and buildin team chemistry. How do you think his teammates will accept him when he shows up for mandatory minicamp? Afterall, they are a better group defenisvely when Fat Albert is on the field.

Just ask Orakpo how many sacks he would of had last year had Fat Albert not been in the middle. Tough call the Skins have to make but one i'll be happy with either way.

Thanks Tracee

When he played last year, he was a force. He definitely made some people better.

As far as his teammates, I didn't sense he was a team favorite, but I also didn't feel he was a pariah, either. I did notice that when he went to the sideline, he invariably ended up alone, while the rest of the defense would sit or stand together. But who cares if he's popular as long as he plays, right?


Let's say Albert isn't traded. How do you suppose Mike Shanahan will use him? Is it at all possible that Albert comes to camp ready to play and dominates....if he is playing like he did in Tennessee two years ago then Mike would have no choice but to keep this guy around, right? Thanks Tracee :)

If they can't or don't unload him, and he comes to camp a little trimmer and fired up and ready to play in the system, then I think he and Shanahan will bury the hatchet pretty quickly. Those are a LOT of ifs. I would think the Skins would be thrilled with that outcome, though.

Hey Tracee, I dont agree with AH missing the OTA's while the rest of his team is here and being completely out of shape last year was unacceptable. My point is someone as dominant as AH (when he is in there) shouldn't be made to just plug gaps.

I'm in no position to 2nd guess Shan-Allen-han but I feel it would be extreme waste of talent. Imagine if Reggie White was a gap plugging NT, what a waste that would have been for such an up field disruptive force, which Haynesworth is when hes in there. I don't agree with how AH is acting but putting at NT seems like an asinine move if i were AH i would be a perturbed too. Don't you think so?

Yes, that's the high ground of his argument -- that this position change is nuts for him. I don't blame him for being upset about that. Maybe by boycotting all the voluntary stuff he's trying to force a change back to the old system, maybe he's trying to force a trade. Could be.

He's not going to change Shanahan's scheme, however. It would be better if he were here and trying to work something out than continuing to antagonize the coach, who can't give into him without looking fluffy.

I wonder if his feuding with Shanny is hurting his trade chances? Can't help, I suppose. If he wants out of the 3-4, he ought to be playing nice right now.

How do you even consider trading Haynesworth when he  is the best defensive lineman they have, you know the guy that they say is out of shape but still played more plays then any other lineman the Redskins have other then Andre Carter. Oh yeah this Shannahan guy what has he won lately?

Shanahan's won about as much lately as the Redskins.

Yes, he's the best lineman they have. But when a player and a coach square off, the player seldom wins. You think they're going to fire Shanahan to make Albert happy?

One would hope two grown men would be able to work this problem out. So far, that hasn't happened, has it?

Have Haynesworth be the 3rd down back!

That's it! Brilliant!

What is so hard about sitting down and having a meeting, I really dont think it is wise to be talking about cutting a player of his caliber and talent just because he refuses to play a position that he was promise he would'nt have to play, many people talk about his contract...I dont remember reading anywhere that he held a gun to their head and made them give him $100 million dollar contract. I'm not at all saying that he should be working out with the team but to try to force him to do it is not the right way either. last but not least, why is every one so giddy about Shanahan? I will give him his chance as a Redskin fan, but as a fan I will not blink to express myself when everybody start to see exactly what I know about this dude....he really is overrated!

You are right; the money isn't his fault and we know where the lay the blame for that.

I agree that they should work this out. It's unseemly and it doesn't get your "era" off on the right foot, to be feuding with this guy.

Is Shanahan overrated? You may be right, maybe he is. I think they are better at the coaching position with him, just as they are better at the QB position with McNabb. I'm not declaring them Super Bowl champions just yet.

I saw this morning that the Redskins are talking to the Titans about trading big Albert back to them. I do not think he will ever play for Shanahan after he stays home from the voluntary work outs

It will be very interesting, to see where Shanahan draws a line in the sand. He's old school, so there will be a line, for sure.

I'm a little surprised the Titans want him back. I seem to recall there was some sniping at him after he left by teammates.

The Skins could pay him his millions in bags of loose change that would force him into a "voluntary workout" carrying the bags to the bank.

That would solve the weight room issue. He'd go through oxygen tanks like breath mints.

The tackle position is a definite need for the Redskins. Could there possibly be a trade involving the Ravens LT Gaither? How about a possible trade with the New Orleans Saints, who have a stockpile at LT in Jamaal Brown, Jarmon Bushrod and Strief? Thanks.

I don't think they are done TRYING to make trades; they'd be crazy to stop and they seem to know that. There is a lot of o-line work to be done. Both of those ideas are good ones. I like Gaither.

I say Shanahan and Allen keep Albert, if for nothing else, as a reminder to Mr. Snyder of what happened when he and Vinny played "GM". (T, enjoy your columns, stay funny)

Interesting idea (and thanks).

I do think it bears mentioning that Dan Snyder has been pretty invisible through this offseason. We don't talk about it much but it's POSSIBLE the Shanahallen experiment is working in that regard, at least. I don't want to jinx it.

When will Bruce Allen actually open his mouth and become more than the puppet he replaced? This Hanesworth(less) mess is all due to Dano playing his fantasy football, without the benefit of sound GM knowledge.

Now, it continues. Witness the McNabb trade. Instead of having the courage and conviction to draft a young QB, like Balt., Atlanta, Jets, etc., Dano pulls the trigger for an ancient, bad-knees QB, who is virtually finished.

I'm not sure what Allen does as GM, perhaps he only is allowed to be a Capologist in an era without a cap? He certainly has been mute since arriving. As far as Hansworth(less)? Get what you can for him and move on. It's after all, play-money, right? The fans will get the bill, then make more, very much like Doritos!

The 'Skins will never be champions as long as Snyder owns the team. But, they again take the off-season award for best PR moves, and that is what Dano specializes in. . . hype NOT substance.

This person clearly disagrees with me re Snyder.

However, good question about Bruce Allen. I am beginning to wonder if he's in a Cheney-style bunker awaiting draft night. I thought it was a little strange that he didn't sit on the dias at the McNabb presser.

Word this morning out of ESPN land was the Lions may be willing to trade for Albert. What about packaging Albert with either Landry or Portis?

I'd be in favor of either of those moves.

I've run over time and still didn't get to everyone -- sorry! Thanks for joining me this morning; let's talk again tomorrow.

In This Chat
Tracee Hamilton
Tracee Hamilton has worked at the Post since 1993, toiling in office obscurity as an editor before someone said, "Hey, you've got a lot of opinons and can write a little. Why don't you become a columnist?"

Her interests range from geneology to Nordic combined to Kansas basketball. If ever there was a Jayhawk who once flew off a ski jump, she'd know where he was buried.

Her list of pet peeves is considerably longer, but includes Missouri basketball and poor subway etiquette. She welcomes dissenting opinions -- in the way Great Whites welcome open-water swimmers.

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