Haynesworth: Contract doesn’t make me a slave

This year has brought one colossal mistake after another for Washington defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, but his latest comments could potentially end up costing him more than all the other blunders combined.

In an interview he granted to a local sports station, 106.7 The Fan, Haynesworth took umbrage with the notion that his mammoth contract eliminated the right for him to voice his displeasure with his current role in the Redskins defense.

“I guess in this world we don’t have a lot of people with, like, backbones,” Haynesworth said. “Just because somebody pay you money don’t mean they’ll make you do whatever they want or whatever. I mean, does that mean everything is for sale?”

“I mean, I’m not for sale. Yeah, I signed the contract and got paid a lot of money, but … that don’t mean I’m for sale or a slave or whatever.”

Washington currently runs a 3-4 base defense, pitting Haynesworth as a nose tackle, which is a position he’s shown disdain for playing in the past. In an effort to prove just how unhappy he was with the switch, Haynesworth sat out the entirety of the team’s off-season workouts, and showed up to training camp out of shape.

First year head coach Mike Shanahan showed Haynesworth no mercy, pushing him through daily tests to prove his conditioning was up to par with the rest of the team. Haynesworth finally passed the fitness exam and was cleared to practice, but he hasn’t started a game as of yet, coming off the bench in week on against Dallas, and missing last week’s game against Houston.

It’s likely that the Redskins will be none too pleased by Haynesworth’s remarks, and could decide to punish Haynesworth further by keeping him off the field this season, much like the Eagles did with wide receiver Terrell Owens in 2005 for his insubordination that year.

They could also send Haynesworth packing for a new locale prior to the league’s October 19th deadline for trades, but that course of action seems unlikely at this point, given the lack of interest shown in previous trade discussions involving him. The only team with a significant desire to pursue such a deal at this point is Tennessee, and they most likely will decide to wait until the off-season to make their move.

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