The deal is not expected to be official until Haynesworth passes a physical in New England, but that could be a formality. Haynesworth arrived in New England on Thursday evening and headed straight to the Patriots’ facility.
The Redskins would not comment on the trade, and in New England, Belichick was his usual tight-lipped self. “We’ll talk about it when it’s done,” he said.
The trade was executed early Thursday morning, just hours before Haynesworth was due at Redskins Park for a physical.
The Redskins were able to open training camp having dealt with both of the lingering problems that tainted the 2010 season. On Wednesday night, the Redskins traded quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Minnesota Vikings for a sixth-round pick in the 2012 draft and a conditional sixth-rounder in 2013.
Washington received very little for two former all-pros, but team officials were pleased to receive anything at all, considering the way last season concluded, with McNabb on the bench and Haynesworth on the suspended list.
The Redskins freed $5.4 million worth of salary cap space — Haynesworth’s base salary this season — and can now focus on building their defense with players who want to be a part of the 3-4 defensive scheme, a prospect that rankled Haynesworth. Washington has already added key pieces to its defensive line, drafting Jarvis Jenkins and agreeing to terms with free agents Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen.
The Redskins’ marriage with Haynesworth was ill-fated from the start, and both sides were eager to see it end.
“I wish it would’ve worked out here with Albert,” linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “He is one of the most dominant and gifted athletes I have seen. But based on everything that took place, this is probably best for everyone. I wish Albert the best and [hope] he finishes his career on a positive note.”
After two Pro Bowl seasons with the Tennessee Titans, Haynesworth signed with Washington as a free agent in February 2009, promising fans at the time, “You’re not going to remember Albert Haynesworth as a bust.”
Team owner Daniel Snyder made him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history. Haynesworth could have earned as much as $115 million in Washington. Instead, he leaves the Redskins having earned nearly $35 million — for very little work. In two years, he started 12 games and appeared in 20. He was credited with 61
2 sacks and 42 tackles in that time, unhappy with his role in the defense both years.