Washington Redskins  

 

Shanahan: Haynesworth trade possible ... if part of bonus is repaid

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ASHBURN, Va. -- Redskins coach Mike Shanahan implied Wednesday that if disgruntled defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth would return some -- or maybe all -- of the $21 million in bonus money he was paid April 1, then it's possible that Washington would try to trade or release him.

An official within the league with knowledge of the deliberations told The Associated Press that the Redskins are going to examine Haynesworth's contract to see if they can recoup some or all of the bonus given to him. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Shanahan has declined to make the team's plans public.

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While Shanahan would not directly address what the team's plan of action would be with Haynesworth, the coach suggested that the next move would be up to Haynesworth.

Shanahan's remarks came after a rain-shortened, mandatory minicamp workout that Haynesworth opted to skip because he wants to be traded. On Tuesday, Haynesworth's agent, Chad Speck told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora that Haynesworth would skip the team's entire minicamp and had formally requested a trade.

Speck told the Washington Post, which was the first to report the story, that Haynesworth "has made it clear to me that he does not want to play for the Washington Redskins."

Haynesworth has been upset since Shanahan took over for Jim Zorn this offseason and changed the defensive scheme from a 4-3 front to a 3-4. Shanahan declined to address whether the team would fine Haynesworth, but it has the right to do so since the mini-camp is mandatory. He also sidestepped a question as to whether Haynesworth would even be welcomed at this point.

"We'll make some decisions here shortly," Shanahan said. "I am very disappointed because he did have the ability to go somewhere else, and we asked for nothing in return other than us not having to pay the remainder of his contract. He made $12 million his first year, and we felt that if he didn't want to be a part of us, that's fine. If you wanted to go someplace else that would be better for you and you want to play in a 4-3 scheme, then don't take our check and then say you don't want to be part of our organization."

Shanahan said that after a February meeting with Haynesworth that the defensive tackle and his agent were given permission to find a job with other teams. Shanahan said that if Haynesworth found one the Redskins would let him walk as a free agent. However, if Haynesworth took the $21 million bonus money, he was expected to be with the Redskins, wholeheartedly. Haynesworth has skipped nearly all voluntary and, now, mandatory programs.

Shanahan made it clear repeatedly that Haynesworth was more about money than pursuing football options.

"Obviously, he took the check, so I was surprised that he wasn't here today," Shanahan said. "I thought he did make the commitment once he took the check that he wanted to be a Washington Redskin. Obviously, it didn't go in that direction. I'm quite disappointed."

Haynesworth signed a seven-year, $100 million free-agent contract with Washington in 2009 with guarantees of $42 million. He only played in 12 games, and his performance was viewed as disappointing. Frequently injured, his fitness and attitude were subject to doubt. Haynesworth finished with only four sacks and questioned the team's leadership as the Redskins spiraled in a 4-12 season under coach Jim Zorn.

New leadership has come, but it's not to Haynesworth's taste. He rankled Shanahan by staying away from the team's voluntary offseason conditioning program, saying he felt the need to work with his trainer to regain the power and strength he had in previous seasons.

But the team and player have a bigger split over the switch to a 3-4. Haynesworth stood out as the only player to boycott the first two minicamps -- both voluntary -- while hoping the Redskins would trade him. Shanahan firmly said at the time that trade wasn't going to happen.

Haynesworth still wants a trade, preferably before training camp begins late next month. He made it clear in his statement that the current Redskins defensive scheme is not what he signed up for, even though he had to know that changes in defense would be likely during the course of a seven-year contract.

"When I signed here after meeting all day with the staff and top executives, and talked about the defense that we would run and what my role would be, I was assured I would have the freedom to play to my strengths and I was excited about the future," Haynesworth said Tuesday in a statement to Comcast SportNet. "After many years in the NFL, I know what it takes for me to perform at my highest level. My number one goal has always been to help my team win -- period.

"It's also important at my position to help free my teammates to make plays, which I've done throughout my career when I've been allowed to play to my strengths. I will continue to work individually to prepare for training camp and the start of the 2010 season."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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