WASHINGTON (AP) — Albert Haynesworth said Saturday his $100 million contract doesn’t make him a slave to the Washington Redskins.
In an interview with 106.7 The Fan, the two-time All-Pro defensive tackle said the big paychecks don’t mean he can’t push back when the team asks him to play a different position.
Haynesworth, who rarely speaks to the media, was upset this year when the Redskins switched to a 3-4 defense and told him he would be playing nose tackle.
Haynesworth protested by staying away from the team’s offseason conditioning program and practices. He also skipped a mandatory minicamp and was unable to pass the team’s conditioning test until the 10th day of training camp — all despite receiving a $21 million bonus on April 1.
“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.”
Haynesworth said it was agreed that he would play defensive tackle in a 4-3 system when he signed with the Redskins in 2009, but the team has since overhauled its front office, coaching staff and offensive and defensive schemes. He said he now likes the new scheme better as he works with defensive coordinator Jim Haslett.
Haynesworth made a passing reference to his disputes with coach Mike Shanahan, saying some things “went down with me and Mike,” but he did not elaborate. He also said he doesn’t like the spotlight and would rather be someone who can just “go to Wal-Mart and hang out.”
Haynesworth implied he would be playing in Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams. He was used as a backup in the season opener against Dallas and missed last week’s game against Houston with a sprained ankle.