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Thursday, June 16, 2011
Breakfast links: Whither Haynesworth?

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Yeah, Mr. Conditioning Test is in the news again. As indications mount that the end of the NFL lockout is at least a reasonable thing for which to hope, speculation mounts about some of the big-name moves that have been on hold during the labor dispute. On Wednesday, Albert Haynesworth's name popped up in a couple of places, because ridding themselves of Haynesworth is going to be one of the Washington Redskins' first priorities post-lockout.

Yahoo! Sports' Mike Silver, in a long piece about the Eagles' post-lockout plans, wrote of the connection between Haynesworth and new Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn, who was Haynesworth's line coach in Tennessee. Silver cites an Eagles source saying that Washburn "is convinced he can get the most out of Haynesworth" and "wants him badly." I have no doubt that both Silver and Washburn are correct, which is why I don't think the Redskins would consider dealing Haynesworth to Philadelphia. I believe he'd thrive there, and that means destroying the Redskins twice a year. I also don't think, no matter how badly Washburn might want him, that the Eagles' front office would deal significant assets for Haynesworth and his $5.4 million salary.

Over at the NFC West blog, Mike Sando mulled the idea of Haynesworth and the St. Louis Rams, who also run the 4-3 defense for which Big Al believes he's so much better suited. The Rams have a defensive head coach in Steve Spagnuolo, and Mike believes he could get something out of Haynesworth. Mike does not, however, believe Haynesworth is the kind of player the Rams like to bring in:
The Rams know what they want on defense. They have not taken big risks with the types of personalities they've added. Chris Long, Fred Robbins and James Laurinaitis have been steady players. Haynesworth does not fit the mold.

Mike and I spoke about this Wednesday, and we agreed that we're both interested to find out whether the Redskins would cut Haynesworth if they didn't end up getting enough for him in trade. They could have done it last year but opted instead to keep him around and on the bench, even inactive for some games. They could do that again if Mike Shanahan wants to, and they obviously don't have the kind of relationship with Haynesworth that would lead them to deal him for his own sake. It's possible they could decide they're just sick of having him around, but doing that would heighten the risk of his signing with Washburn and Philly. So this is an interesting situation that bears watching when and if the lockout does finally end.

More Redskins

London Fletcher has actually been calling defensive plays during the Redskins' player workouts. Practicing with a folded-up piece of paper in his back pocket and pulling it out to call plays from the 3-4 defense they're all still trying to master. Every day we say there's no way to know what these workouts mean and what, if any, lasting effects they could have. But you've got to hand it to Fletcher for the leadership he's shown during this time.

In a radio interview, Trent Williams talked about why he hasn't been at those workouts. He also detailed some of the things he's been doing in his own personal workouts, including boxing.

More Eagles

Andy Reid held an online chat with Eagles fans through the Philly Inquirer's website. Some tidbits, including the surprising news that he's leaning toward Stewart Bradley, not Jamar Chaney, at middle linebacker.

LeSean McCoy showed up at a charity auction and spoke on a number of topics, including his review of the Eagles' draft. As a running back, yes, he approves of selecting a guard in the first round.

Dallas Cowboys

Todd Archer wonders if Jerry Jones might take a lesson from Mark Cuban, who silenced his own normally boisterous personality while his Dallas Mavericks made their run to an NBA title. As someone who (like Todd) has covered Cowboys games and tried in vain to muscle his way to the front of the postgame pack that interviews Jerry Jones in the middle of the locker room immediately after it opens to the media, I'm going to say I'd be surprised, and leave it at that.

Teams are hearing from nervous training camp sites wondering if they still plan to show up in late July/early August as scheduled. The city of San Antonio would really like to know what the Cowboys are planning to do.

New York Giants

Tom Coughlin took the family to the Yankees game Wednesday night and was a pregame visitor of Yankee manager Joe Girardi's during batting practice. Coughlin stopped to talk and was asked about, among other things, Plaxico Burress' recent comments about the lousy relationship the two of them had. "I'll stay with the same line: I hope he gets some normalcy in his life and gets to spend some time with his family and that he gets to know his kids once again," Coughlin said, according to The Star-Ledger.

As New York moves toward legalizing gay marriage, former Giants Super Bowl heroes are at odds. Michael Strahan last week offered support for it, and that apparently moved David Tyree to come out quite strongly against it. Tyree says legalizing gay marriage would push our country "toward anarchy."