By Jason Reid and Rick Maese
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, April 21, 2010; D03
With the NFL draft in two days, the Washington Redskins continued to stockpile defensive tackles Tuesday while possibly preparing to trade Pro Bowler Albert Haynesworth, acquiring 2007 first-round pick Adam Carriker from the St. Louis Rams.
Washington exchanged fifth- and seventh-round picks with the Rams to obtain Carriker, who sat out last season after tearing a muscle in his shoulder late in the preseason. The Redskins moved down from No. 135 overall to 163 in the fifth round of the three-day draft that begins Thursday in New York City, and moved up from 211 overall to the Rams' spot at 208 in the final round.
The Redskins gave up relatively little for the 13th overall pick in the '07 draft, whose career to this point has been a disappointment. The trade, however, could be part of a bigger move involving Haynesworth, who has told coaches he does not want to play nose tackle in the team's new 3-4 defense, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation. Haynesworth last week skipped the team's voluntary three-day minicamp, has declined to participate in the voluntary conditioning program and has made it known the Redskins should only expect to see him at Redskins Park for mandatory events under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
Washington has already paid Haynesworth $32 million -- including a $21 million bonus on April 1 -- of the $41 million guaranteed he is scheduled to receive as part of his $100 million contract. He is guaranteed another $9 million the next two seasons, and his contract averages $5.23 million the next three seasons -- a relatively low figure for someone of Haynesworth's accomplishments.
In the last few days, Coach Mike Shanahan -- the head of Washington's football operation -- and General Manager Bruce Allen publicly said they have no plans to trade Haynesworth, but there is widespread belief in the NFL that the team still is interested in moving the two-time all-pro for the right price.
At least one prominent Redskins veteran, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, repeatedly reached out to Haynesworth in an attempt to persuade the Pro Bowler to report to the recent voluntary minicamp, he said Tuesday. Haynesworth, beginning the second year of a seven-year contract, made it clear to the player he has no interest in being part of Shanahan's plans for the Redskins as long as Shanahan plans to use him as a nose tackle.
And in text messages to a reporter, several players expressed frustration about facing so many questions Sunday regarding Haynesworth's absence from the minicamp. If Haynesworth remains with the Redskins after the draft, he only plans to attend the mandatory minicamp June 16-18, and some in the organization are concerned his situation could become a potential distraction for a team that had many during last season's 4-12 debacle.
Clearly, the Redskins have made the defensive line a priority this offseason. Carriker, the Rams' top rookie performer during the '07 season, is the fifth defensive lineman the Redskins have acquired since free agency began. On Monday, the Redskins signed Howard Green to a one-year contract. They previously signed Anthony Bryant, Maake Kemoeatu and Greg Peterson.
Although Carriker was regarded as an underachiever with the Rams, the Redskins hope he experiences a career renaissance in being reunited with Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, whom he played under with the Rams.
A Nebraska product who played defensive end in college, Carriker lined up as a three-technique tackle. Haslett was the St. Louis coordinator at the time and found success with Carriker, who was the team's top rookie performer in '07.
Carriker underwent surgery in September and spent the year on the season-ending injured-reserve list. In essentially two seasons of playing, Carriker has started 25 games and played a role in 53 tackles and two sacks. He has two years remaining on his rookie contract; he is due $1.07 million this season, $1.42 million in '11.