Will Mike Shanahan and Albert Haynesworth be able to bury their offseason hatchet and work together?
If not for the stunning Donovan McNabb trade, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan's apparent dislike/disgust for Haynesworth might be one of the most compelling stories of the offseason. Shanahan has left no doubt who's in charge at Redskins Park with his willingness to trade the highest paid defensive player in the league.
From Haynesworth's perspective, he signed to play with a team that used his favored 4-3 scheme. But for most men, a $41 million check (his guaranteed portion) can help you endure a lot of things, including scheme changes. Haynesworth has gotten off on the wrong foot with Shanahan by working out off campus and complaining about his projected role in the defense. Shanahan admonished Haynesworth during the owners meetings by saying he "absolutely disagreed" with Haynesworth's decision to skip the offseason program.
And then behind closed doors, Shanahan reportedly offered Haynesworth to the Eagles in the initial McNabb trade discussions. So where is this headed? If Haynesworth doesn't show up at Friday's "voluntary" minicamp -- and there's no indication that he will -- this standoff could continue throughout the offseason.
The Redskins just wrote Haynesworth a $21 million bonus check, so I'm sure Dan Snyder would like to get a little something in return for the, um, nose tackle (Sorry, Albert). But if you watched how red Shanahan turned when he discussed the situation during the recent NFC coaches breakfast, it didn't seem like he was overly concerned about receiving fair compensation.
He obviously thinks that Haynesworth's actions are undermining what he's trying to accomplish. You have two incredibly stubborn men who aren't in a hurry to compromise. If the Redskins could land a second-round pick for Haynesworth (they gave one up in the McNabb trade), I think they'd pull the trigger. Haynesworth's enormous contract isn't as imposing as one might think because the Redskins have already paid him $32 million of the $41 million guaranteed.
If a team needs help at defensive tackle (Titans or Rams), this has to be something to consider. Haynesworth has the talent level to command a first-round pick, but Shanahan's efforts to dump him have driven his fair market value down. My gut tells me there's a 50 percent chance the Redskins trade Haynesworth during the draft.
So if my math's correct, I have a 50-50 shot of being correct. Continue to refresh your screen every few minutes for updates on this situation. Now go about your day in peace.