The Redskins were able to ship disgruntled defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth to the New England Patriots for a future 5th-round pick on Thursday.
But according to Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, Haynesworth would not have re-joined the team for a third season with or without Thursday’s trade.
“After a year of being with somebody and kind of figuring out where they fit in your scheme, or they don’t fit, we would have released him if we didn’t trade him,” Shanahan said.
The head coach then elaborated on why it was time to move on without a player the Redskins signed to a $100 million contract just two years earlier.
“To be honest with you, either way, Albert wasn’t going to be here,” Shanahan said. “I knew that we were going to go on after this year. Thankfully we did a trade and it worked out well for Albert and New England, and obviously it worked out well for us as well.”
The second-year Redskins head coach, set to embark on his 17th season at the controls of an NFL coaching staff, said that one season with Haynesworth was ample time to make an evaluation.
“In my first year what I’m trying to do is get a feel of our football team. I get a feel relative to who wants to play, who doesn’t want to play, guys that I’m going to put my future on,” he said.
“There’s a lot of things that will go into that type of evaluation. You’re looking at guys every day. How they handle a little adversity, how they handle a little success, how they work out. Then you’ve got to make decisions on what you think gives you the best chance eventually to win a Super Bowl.”
Last season, Haynesworth experienced more of the adversity Shanahan referred to than he did the success. He played in just eight games, not starting a single one, and finished the season inactive after he was suspended for conduct detrimental to his team.
In two seasons with the Redskins Haynesworth tallied 53 tackles and registered 6.5 sacks.
Those stats are disappointing enough for a player who was guaranteed $41 million to sign, but they’re even worse when considering that he made 51 tackles and racked up 8.5 sacks in his final season with the Titans.
“I think [the trade] worked out good for Albert and it worked out good for us,” Shanahan said.
To listen to the audio of Mike Shanahan’s full press conference click here.