Patriots, Redskins Close on Albert Haynesworth Trade
The Redskins find a suitor for a disgruntled ex-Pro Bowl player, rather than let him walk to a division rival
By: Scott Henry | 7/28/11, 11:07 AM EDT
Haynesworth is coming off of a 2010 season more memorable for conditioning drills and off-field incidents than on-field tackles and sacks. Still, the Patriots appear willing to take a chance that they can motivate him to reach his former level of play. For their part, the Redskins are happy with not needing to release him and watching him take his talents to NFC East rival Philadelphia, where Haynesworth's former position coach Jim Washburn now works.
The Redskins' training camp turned into a circus when new head coach Mike Shanahan ordered Haynesworth to pass a shuttle run drill before being allowed to practice, a drill which took the player several days to complete.
During the 2010 season, Haynesworth's most highlight-worthy play was the picture of him taking a leisurely nap on the turf at FedEx Field during a Monday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles. By season's end, he had been hit with a suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, costing him the last four games of the season.
After the season was over, Haynesworth made headlines for punching a fellow motorist in a road rage incident and accusations of misdemeanor sexual abuse of a waitress in a Washington-area hotel. As a defense against the latter, he claimed that the waitress was angry over him having a white girlfriend and he made the immortal claim that "I don't even like black girls."
The Patriots have had success motivating troubled players in the past, most notably running back Corey Dillon and receiver Randy Moss. Haynesworth may not be a positional fit in New England's 3-4 defense any more than he was in Washington, but coach Bill Belichick may be more willing to use the player as a 3-4 end and allow him to rush the passer.
In Belichick's first press conference of the year, he was reluctant to go into any detail about Haynesworth, but the fact that the notoriously tight-lipped coach brought him up at all is a big indication that the deal is all but done.
--Scott Henry (@4QuartersRadio)
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