Albert Haynesworth wins battle, but everyone ultimately loses

The Washington Post's Rick Maese, Dan Steinberg, LaVar Arrington and Jonathan Forsythe debate whether or not to cut Albert Haynesworth.
By Mike Wise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 7, 2010; 11:35 PM

When Prima Donna Player vs. Taskmaster Coach finally ended after 11-plus grueling months, Mike Shanahan's extra, beet-red complexion spared the ringside judges any work.

Albert Haynesworth won - by technical knockout.

He got his money.

He got out of doing a job for which he said his unique talents were unsuited.

He made the employer bend to meet his needs instead of the company's.

And with his Redskins career ostensibly over after being suspended for the remainder of the season, Haynesworth incredibly pulled off the parlay: He also gets the holidays off.

He does not have to suffer the drudgery of preparing for, in all likelihood, an unimportant game on the day after Christmas with teammates in Jacksonville.

Just as well, though. Cliches about teams being families aside, Haynesworth never behaved as if he considered his teammates kin.

The single, most expensive indictment of owner Daniel Snyder's shopping addiction era will eventually leave town with almost $34.8 million for 53 tackles and 61/2 sacks in 20 games over two seasons.

That's $656,000 per tackle, $1.74 million per game and $5.35 million per sack.

Uh, Albert won.

Brian Mitchell, the former player and analyst whose opinion I highly respect, said 60 percent of the blame for Haynesworth not working out in Washington should be leveled at Shanahan. I wouldn't go that far, but clearly the franchise's top decisionmaker on all things football has to own his part in this season-long migraine.

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