Nothing is official, of course, but I think it's pretty much a given that Albert Haynesworth has played his last game with the Washington Redskins. After a 26-minute radio interview featuring some unbelievably strong words about his Redskins tenure, there is no way the organization can possibly let him on the field again. Maybe they'll cut him, or maybe they'll deactivate him. But he certainly isn't going to play again.
So it's time to reflect on how one of the league's most dominant defensive players turned into the Redskins' biggest free agent bust in a decade of free agent busts. Who is to blame for what happened to Albert Haynesworth? Is it Dan Snyder's fault for giving him too much money? Is it Mike Shanahan's fault for embarrassing him, refusing to put him on the field and taking such a hard-line stance with him? Or, is it, you know, Haynesworth's own fault for not giving enough effort, for skipping OTAs and for whining about playing in a 3-4 defense when he wasn't the only player that had to make a major adjustment?
It's easy to take sides when something like this happens to the flagship team of the region. Haynesworth is a large target because he's, well, large. Shanahan is a target because he's condescending in pretty much every public appearance. Snyder is a target because he's Snyder. But in reality, nobody wins here. Everyone is to blame to a certain degree, and arguing over who is to blame more is wasting energy. That's the saddest part of this whole thing.
All I know is that because of the events of the past couple of years, this team doesn't have the dominant defensive tackle it thought it was getting back in 2009. You're allowed to point many fingers when something like that happens.
Today's must-reads from around the SB Nation network:
- Hogs Haven writes that Mike Shanahan needs to swallow his ego and let Haynesworth play.
- Japers Rink recaps a shocking Capitals shootout loss to the Maple Leafs.
- Bullets Forever begins looking ahead to the 2011 NBA Draft. I guess it's never too early for that.
- Testudo Times discusses the impact of the Terps hoops team losing a key recruit to College of Charleston, of all places.
- Federal Baseball writes that the Nationals are at the baseball winter meetings "to wreck shop."
- Casual Hoya is soliciting suggestions for a nickname for Chris Wright and Austin Freeman.