Former Washington DT Albert Haynesworth defends former Commanders owner Dan Snyder. How?
Though the Commanders are now free of the specter of former owner Dan Snyder and the controversy he caused, it’s clear there’s much healing to do.
Despite the staggering amount of evidence to support the allegations against the franchise’s former owner, Daniel Snyder, there is one former player who sees things in a different light and moreover defended Snyder to a point.
Albert Haynesworth has a different perspective on Dan Snyder
Daniel Snyder’s time as owner of the Washington Commanders is officially over following the NFL’s approval of Josh Harris’ $6 billion bid to purchase the franchise. On the other hand, the effect of the former owner is still very much present, and that goes way beyond the team’s dismal 164-220 record across his 24 years in charge. Snyder as you know, found himself at the center of an investigation that found him guilty of creating a toxic workplace environment, sexual harassment, and understating the team’s revenue in order to avoid revenue-sharing obligations. The end result was a $60 million fine and immense pressure to sell the franchise, which he did.
With that said, former Washington defensive tackle, Albert Haynesworth, who was signed by Snyder for $100 million back in 2009 sees things slightly differently. Speaking during a recent appearance on OutKick’s Hot Mic, the former first-round pick in the 2002 NFL Draft appeared to contradict the picture that’s been painted of Snyder as the cancer of the franchise. “We were like super cool,” Haynesworth said “Everybody’s like, ‘Dan’s an a-hole, whatever, but he’s not. Everyone’s like, ‘He ruined Washington, D.C. He ruined the [Commanders]. This guy, who he was ... he loved [Washington]. He’s like watching every practice, he’s doing all that stuff.” It must be said that Haynesworth went on to acknowledge that Snyder was not fit to run the team.
“The thing about Dan, he didn’t know a ton about football like that,” he continued. “I call him, and I’d say this to his face, he’s a billionaire fantasy footballer. So imagine you have billions of dollars and you own a football team, and when you see all of the NFL, you’re like, ‘Bro, that’s a great player. I’m gonna get him, I’m gonna get him. I’m gonna get him.’ ... You’ve got to have the dynamics between the team, the coaches. You’ve got to have the right coaches to be able to put that together. You can’t just go do that. You can get a few players and stuff like that, but you also have to build within the draft, some trades, and just getting those guys and getting that dynamic together.” Interestingly, former Washington head coach Jay Gruden echoed that sentiment in the days prior to the franchise’s sale, explaining that Snyder would declare what signings the team should make without consulting film or attending scouting meetings.
Shots Fired: Albert Haynesworth takes aim at Washington players
In a move that’s sure to cause some form of backlash, Haynesworth laid into some of the team’s former players. DeAngelo Hall, Clint Portis, and Chris Cooley were all on the receiving end of some choice words from the two-time Pro-Bowler who spoke of issues in the locker room. “In that locker room, it was a joke. I got a couple guys that I still talk to, but most of them are trash,” he said. “They’d be talking coming out of the tunnel what club they were going to and they got a table. ... And it’s the ones that be like chirping, talking about me, you know? I’m just like, ‘Dude, I can call you out about all the stuff that you guys were doing, so don’t even like bring my name into it.’ “Yeah, it’s all of them like DeAngelo Hall, Clint Portis, [Chris] Cooley. They’re a joke. They belong in Washington because they are what the team represented back then, which is trash.”
It goes without saying that there will be a response to Haynesworth’s take on Dan Snyder and what happened in Washington, and whether one agrees with him or not, he does offer an interesting point of view. That’s to say that Daniel Snyder is not a ‘football man’ and therefore was never likely to guide the team to championships, despite his supposed ‘love’ for Washington. On the other hand, Haynesworth’s view appears to be a clunky preamble to a rant about players he doesn’t like and more importantly, solely focuses on the team. The problem with that is Snyder didn’t just own the team, he owned the organization, and his mistakes where the latter is concerned had much bigger consequences than the win-loss record. Ultimately, if there’s one takeaway, it’s that there is still a great deal of division surrounding the Washington Commanders, but at least the reason for it is now in the past.