The question was asked multiple ways, but Redskins general manager Bruce Allen slyly deflected an answer. When it came to Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb, Allen wasn’t going to bite on any future moves involving the Redskins two highest-profile players.
So one more attempt was made.
Allen, who deals with the Redskins alumni, was asked when McNabb and Haynesworth might join that group.
“No time soon,” he said, laughing.
But for the Redskins general manager, the futures of McNabb and Haynesworth remain a hot topic. Allen left the door open for both players, though mostly Haynesworth, to return during a half-hour chat with local print reporters.
Allen said he has talked with McNabb’s agent, Fletcher Smith, but declined to characterize the tone of those discussions.
“It’s not just about an individual,” Allen said. “It’s about what’s best for our team.”
As Haynesworth Allen said there’s a chance he could return. Considering Haynesworth won’t talk to the head coach; was suspended for the final four games and dislikes the defense, it’s hard to imagine he’ll come back. Other teams already are calling around to find out more about Haynesworth and what happened in Washington.
But, Allen said, perhaps there’s a chance he’ll play here in 2011.
“Because he’s extremely talented,” Allen said. “We were hopeful that he was going to help the team win. And we remain hopeful that he can help the team win. Hopefully if we give it time to breathe maybe we can come back with a fresh outlook.”
Allen declined to call the McNabb trade a failure, despite giving up second- and fourth-round pick picks for a player they might only have for one season.
“When we made the decision to trade for Donovan, based on what we knew and what we were looking at, it was the right decision,” he said. “I don’t want to speculate on what might occur.”
Among other highlights:
...Allen said they’re considering all options when it comes to their Loudoun County practice facility, including whether or not they want to build another one elsewhere. They’re also discussing building a bubble, if they opt to stay at Redskins Park.
...Allen said he’s not yet fretting over what might happen with a lockout and how that impacts what they do. “I’m more worried about the East-West Shrine Game,” he said.
... The Redskins can re-sign their own players, cut players or sign other players released by other teams until March 4. At that point, if there’s no collective bargaining agreement, then there would be a lockout and no personnel moves could be made.
But when free agency does begin, there could be as many as 400 players available and Allen pointed to the Redskins’ aggressive past as a prelude to what might happen this offseason.
... Allen said there was progress made this season: “We worked on the infrastructure, a lot of what this Redskins team can be and I can’t tell you how happy I am with the attitude of the football team.”
...On his working relationship with Shanahan and owner Dan Snyder: “The great part about working with Mike and Dan is that everyone wants honest, candid discussions. That’s very healthy.”
...On how the drama surrounding the Redskins hasn't changed: "As far as drama or whatever word we wanted to describe it... The Redskins are important to this community and our fan base is excited when the offseason program starts. I understand that."