Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Updated: September 8, 11:00 AM ET
Albert Haynesworth on way out?
By Chris Mortensen
Exhausted by the distraction and lack of effort from Albert Haynesworth, the Washington Redskins have once again gauged trade interest in the defensive tackle from his former team, the Tennessee Titans, according to team sources.
It is at least the second occasion the Redskins have had discussions regarding Haynesworth with the Titans since Mike Shanahan was named Washington's coach in January.
The Titans definitely would welcome back Haynesworth, a team source said, but maintained that the Redskins' asking price was still too high. The Redskins are believed to want at least two draft picks for Haynesworth.
A Redskins spokesman said he was unaware of any trade discussions involving Haynesworth but sources say the dialogue occurred over the weekend.
The Titans declined to comment, but Titans coach Jeff Fisher was asked about the team's interest Tuesday night during his weekly radio show on WGFX-FM 104.5 The Zone, and he said Haynesworth is under contract with the Redskins.
"If they're willing to look into the possibility of dealing him, of course we'll listen to them. We listen to those types of things almost every day," Fisher said.
"This just happens to be a big story because of the circumstances and the situation that arose with the offseason payment and then of course with all the drama associated with the offseason conditioning and the conditioning test and everything. Our focus right now is on the Raiders."
Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb said Tuesday on his weekly radio show on ESPN 980 that he hopes Haynesworth stays in Washington.
"Albert is one of our brothers in the locker room ... he understands, 'Hey, I got to put the time and effort in," McNabb said. "We can't win without him. I think he'll be here. I hope he'll be here."
Haynesworth has been a thorn in Shanahan's side since the coach took the Redskins job. Haynesworth drew Shanahan's ire by staying away from the offseason program and later lobbied for a trade because he didn't want to play nose tackle in the team's new 3-4 defense. Shanahan gave Haynesworth a chance to leave -- provided Haynesworth didn't stay around to accept a $21 million contract bonus on April 1. Haynesworth took the bonus.
Haynesworth also skipped a mandatory minicamp and was fined. When he showed up for training camp, he was made to pass a conditioning test before he could practice. After several failed attempts and several days of idleness because of a sore knee, he finally passed the test on the 10th day of camp.
Haynesworth then missed another week of training camp due to illness. Shanahan gave varying explanations for Haynesworth's idleness each day. The coach initially said Haynesworth "just was sick," then said the cause was dehydration, then finally said it was "more of a headache than anything else."
As the most highly sought free agent of 2009, Haynesworth signed a $100 million contract with the Redskins, including $41 million in guaranteed money. Haynesworth will earn a guaranteed $3.6 million in 2010 and $5.4 million in 2011.
Haynesworth has collected approximately $32 million of his guaranteed money in his one-plus season with Washington.
The Titans have missed Haynesworth's presence in the middle of their line, slumping to 31 sacks without him helping collapse offensive lines. He managed only four sacks with the Redskins himself, a big dip from his 8½ sacks in 2008 with Tennessee.
And the Titans know him well, having drafted Haynesworth in the first round in 2002. They used the franchise tag to keep Haynesworth in 2008 to help keep him focused, and the deal they eventually offered in 2009 was nowhere near what he got from Washington in the first hours of free agency.
The former University of Tennessee lineman has 28 career sacks and six forced fumbles in his first eight NFL seasons.
Chris Mortensen is ESPN's senior NFL analyst. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.