Albert Haynesworth must be let go by Redskins - now

The Washington Redskins hopes for the playoffs evaporate as they are crushed by the New York Giants.
By Thomas Boswell
Sunday, December 5, 2010; 11:43 PM


Albert Haynesworth must go. An excellent time frame would be: Now, immediately, this instant, the next train smokin'. But, as Dr. Seuss said of Marvin K. Mooney, "Just go. I don't care how."

Many in the Redskins organization, including several of the team's veteran leaders, are completely fed up with Haynesworth, his diva insubordination and the constant disruptions he causes. The cumulative damage of the Haynesworth farce is undermining all of Mike Shanahan's efforts to rebuild the Redskins disorganization.

The silly saga was on display once more here Sunday in a stunningly inept 31-7 loss. The Redskins said they were distracted by learning after they got to New Meadowlands Stadium that Haynesworth had been deactivated. Not because he was hurt, but, in essence, because Shanahan was so furious at his behavior all week.

Giants running backs arrived in the end zone untouched, lightly patted down, barely frisked. The Redskins' defense probably couldn't get itself hired by the TSA at La Guardia. They're too polite and non-invasive.

Could Haynesworth have helped the pathetic Redskins run defense that allowed 103 yards to Brandon Jacobs and 97 more to Ahmad Bradshaw? We'll never know. But this was certainly the perfect Albert game. The Giants were without three injured offensive linemen and two top wide receivers. With the Redskins at 5-6, clinging to remote playoff life, Haynesworth's 350 pounds could have had their greatest impact. Instead, Shanahan made his latest, loudest and maybe last statement: Albert, sit in the corner.

Ever since Shanahan was hired, Haynesworth has defied him. If Albert had a few defenders in the past, the number of players on his own team who are ready to roast him has now probably hit critical mass.

If Haynesworth ever plays another game for the Redskins, I'll be mildly surprised. I told four veteran Redskins leaders I planned to write that Haynesworth should be cut. I may have added something about using a shovel to remove a large steaming pile from the middle of their locker room. Tell me now: Am I wrong?

"Blast away," said a Pro Bowler. "Now you feel our pain."

Another Pro Bowler kept punching the air with his finger in approval, as if he were at a religious revival agreeing with the preacher as I ranted about how Haynesworth was a team killer who was antithetical to everything Shanahan was trying to accomplish.

A third Pro-Bowler shook his head and said: "Go ahead. I can't say anything. Someday I will. Man, I'd love to be in the room when he and Shanahan met."

However, the clearest illustration of the Haynesworth problem may not be a Pro Bowler or a player with a Redskins future but ancient Phillip Daniels, 37, who's had a fine 15-year career and, these days, is sick as a dog - but won't miss a practice, a meeting or a single down when the team needs him.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2010 The Washington Post Company