The Free Lance Star's Rich Campbell reported on Wednesday that Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth has shed 32 pounds this offseason after struggling with conditioning issues in 2009.
Haynesworth's personal trainer Tripp Smith revealed this to Campbell in a phone interview and told Campbell that Haynesworth is "going to open some eyes when he gets to camp."
This is why I applauded the 'Skins for staying patient and not making a decision on Haynesworth right away. If Haynesworth comes to camp ready to play, the team must reconcile with him because he is that talented. Mike Shanahan didn't burn his bridge with Haynesworth, and now the Redskins may very well benefit.
Granted, Haynesworth has few fans in the locker room, but if he comes in shape and ready to play, you can bet that the team will in the very least cope with Haynesworth's attitude.
Haynesworth commands more attention than any other lineman the Redskins currently have. You can't find that talent often. Shanahan knows that and hence he is playing it cool, hoping to have Haynesworth come back and play for him.
By waiting for Haynesworth to make his move, the Redskins are in a much better position. Haynesworth knows the 'Skins don't want to trade him for peanuts or cut him. So to get out of Washington he has to produce.
Not saying that this is what's going on for sure, but I think it's likely. The Redskins do not want to part ways with Haynesworth if they believe he has a chance to produce in 2010. And who wouldn't?
He makes everyone around him better. Linebackers have less traffic to deal with while fellow defensive lineman find themselves in more one-on-one situations.
In short, he's possibly the most vital cog on a defense undergoing a drastic transformation.
By playing it safe, the Redskins might have secured a productive Haynesworth in 2010.