Hot Topic Washington Redskins

A growing chorus of critics

Ex-Redskins vice president Vinny Cerrato says Albert Haynesworth, right, would be happy playing under new Coach Mike Shanahan.
Ex-Redskins vice president Vinny Cerrato says Albert Haynesworth, right, would be happy playing under new Coach Mike Shanahan. (Richard A. Lipski/the Washington Post)
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Blog excerpt from washingtonpost.com/redskinsinsider

Former top Redskins official Vinny Cerrato, who played a major role in luring Albert Haynesworth to Washington, joined in the criticism of the disgruntled Pro Bowl defensive tackle Thursday, saying Haynesworth "should stop thinking only about himself."

Invited to Redskins Park to participate in the team's alumni barbecue event, Cerrato expressed disappointment that Haynesworth skipped the team's mandatory two-day minicamp, which ended Thursday, and has requested a trade after only one season with the team. In February 2009, Haynesworth received a then-record $41 million in guaranteed money, based, in large part, on Cerrato's strong recommendation.

"When he signed, he said he wanted to prove everybody wrong," said Cerrato, the team's executive vice president of football operations during the 2008 and '09 seasons. "He said he wanted to show everybody that it's not about the money. He said he wanted to be the best that ever played. He said he wanted to be like Reggie White. He said Reggie White was his hero, so live up to what you said. Don't have it change just because a coach changed."

Cerrato, who was forced to resign Dec. 17, and owner Daniel Snyder were convinced that Haynesworth would be a difference-maker on defense.

Regardless of what Haynesworth was told before he signed his contract, he did sign, Cerrato said. "To me, he signed with the Washington Redskins and not the 4-3 defense when he signed that contract," Cerrato said.

Haynesworth did not enjoy playing under former defensive coordinator Greg Blache and former head coach Jim Zorn last year, Cerrato said, but he would have a blast this season with Mike Shanahan leading the team, if only he would give Shanahan and the new regime a chance.

"If he just came in, he'd realize how much happier he'll be if he has Mike Shanahan to work for," Cerrato said.

T. Williams fires agent

The Redskins have signed four of their six drafts picks. A fifth -- linebacker Perry Riley -- says he could sign soon. But the sixth rookie -- first-round draft pick Trent Williams -- will take a little longer. Williams fired his agent this week and currently has no representation.

"I don't even know if they started negotiations yet," Williams said Thursday after practice. The left tackle is stuck between agents and can't negotiate his rookie contract without representation. When a player switches agents, NFL Players Association rules require him to wait five days before hiring a new one.

The move was first reported by Comcast SportsNet's Kelli Johnson.

Asked to confirm the report, Williams's former agent, Eugene Parker said: "That's accurate. And there's nothing else I can really say about that situation."

Williams was initially projected as a late first-round pick because of questions about his work ethic. During his pre-draft interviews, Parker was effective in convincing teams that Williams was worthy of a top 10 selection. The Redskins took him at No. 4, making him the first offensive lineman drafted.

-- Jason Reid and Rick Maese


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