In a trade first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Redskins have traded disgruntled defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth to the New England Patriots for a 2013 5th-round pick.
The deal ends a two-year soap opera that hit rock bottom in December of 2010, when Haynesworth was suspended for conduct detrimental the Redskins and allegedly refused to speak to Head Coach Mike Shanahan.
Haynesworth signed a $100 million contract to join the Redskins in 2009 and played in just 20 games in the two seasons that have followed. He started 12 games, none last season, registering 53 tackles, 6.5 sacks and six batted passes.
Dealing the former Titans star is more about subtracting a headache than it is acquiring a draft pick. According to one league source a 5th-round pick two drafts from now has no more value than a 7th round selection will this year. But by trading their biggest problem-child, the Redskins can now move on with one less distraction at Redskins Park.
Brian Orakpo, and several other players, have voiced their displeasure about the incessant drama the Haynesworth saga has brought on the players. “It wears on us,” Orakpo said on Tuesday. “We say it doesn’t but it does.” The two-time pro bowl defender went on to say that the “Albert nonsense” had to stop.
Upon showing up in New England, Haynesworth will once again be asked to play in the 3-4 defense, something he wanted nothing to do with in Washington. Whether or not Bill Bellichick and the Patriots plan on using Haynesworth as a nose tackle or as a defensive end is unknown, but Hayneworth refused to play the nose in Washington last season.
The Redskins have now traded their two biggest distractions from 2010, with Haynesworth headed to New England and Donovan McNabb being shipped to Minnesota. The trades netted the Redskins a 2012 sixth-round pick, a 2013 fifth-round pick and a possible 2013 sixth-round pick.
Will any of the players selected with those picks ever amount to anything in Washington is unknown. But how much better the morale is going to be at Redskins Park isn’t.