This past offseason for the Washington Redskins has been plagued by headlines of Albert Haynesworth missing OTAs and a mandatory mini-camp.
Of course you all know the Washington Redskins signed him to a $100 million deal last offseason.
After a lackluster year, the Skins also brought in a new coaching staff.
Jim Haslette, the new defensive coordinator, is now installing a 3-4 defense as opposed to the Skins 4-3, which is all Haynesworth has ever played in.
With the new coaches and new scheme, Haynesworth has stayed away from DC all offseason and then after taking $21 million in bonus money has demanded a trade.
It is selfishness in players like this that I believe is hurting the league the most. We are in a deep recession with a record number of people out of work. In fact I bet most of you reading this have been affected by the economy or know someone who has.
In past seasons most people overlooked things like this. If it wasn't one of your team's players holding out then most likely you didn't care. However, in this economic climate many fans across the league have raised their displeasure with players like Fat Albert who take a truck load of money and run.
Several players have made headlines this season with their run-ins with the law, and many fans have commented on them. However I've notice a trend where more and more fans are lashing out against Haynesworth for not showing up than those who broke the law.
This has brought me to a rather interesting thought. The Player Conduct Policy was established so that the league could keep their players in line so not to embarrass the league.
With players like Haynesworth grabbing a ton of money and then refusing to show up—making headlines across the country—and fans reacting negatively to it, is this not conduct detrimental to the league?
And if so, could or would commissioner Rodger Goodell take action?
Some of you will say that these players holding out isn't really that wrong. In a legal sense—you're right.
The league fines players for every day of training camp they miss and if they don't show up for games they aren't paid.
But is that really enough?
When you get a bonus of $21 million, those fines are like a rain drop in the ocean.
This of course doesn't help the league at all. It just sends a message that says, "if you don't like the contract that you yourself signed, don't show up and you'll get whatever you want."
I don't see how things like this help the game in any way, shape, or form. And if it's not helping the game and fans react negatively then it must be hurting the league in some form.
As stated above, Haynesworth was not happy with the change in the Redskins defensive scheme, even though he hasn't even shown up yet to see how they'll use him.
It has been reported by numerous sources that coach Mike Shanahan told Albert he could seek a trade before he was due his April bonus, but if he was paid he'd be expected to show up to all required mini-camps.
Well the deadline came and went and there was no trade made. Haynesworth got his sick bonus and the team fully expected him to live up to his contract and show up.
However, on the eve of the first mandatory mini-camp Haynesworth informed the team that his poor little feelings were hurt and he wasn't going to show up to camp.
This created a firestorm of headlines from the Washington Post to ESPN's Sportcenter. Also it created a vast amount of criticism from fans and players alike.
Not only has the well respected Redskins captain London Fletcher criticized Haynesworth as selfish, but other players have joined in on the Fat Albert bashing. Those players include Ray Lewis of the Ravens and NFLPA player president Kevin Mawae.
Both of which have basically said you took the money, now play.
Apparently Haynesworth and his agent aren't getting the message.
In the end, the whole situation just blows my mind. There are a ton of unfortunate people out there would be quite satisfied at just making $21,000 a year to clean toilets right now.
Haynesworth just got $21 million, yet that isn't enough for him to show up and play a game—fan outrage is quite understandable.
In my view Haynesworth is definitely hurting the game with his selfish actions and I feel the NFL or the NFLPA need to step in and take some sort of action, because if he gets away with this it will become a slippery slope that could hurt the NFL far more than they realize.
Sure, right now the NFL seems untouchable, but baseball was at one point and it's now the nation's second most popular sport.
With greedier and greedier players coming into the league every year and the looming lock-out, there could be a chink in the NFL's armor.