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Now Haynesworth is fending off the critics who believe the Redskins overpaid to get him, and the perception among some observers that he doesn’t go hard all the time during games.

He was asked if he plays with a chip on his shoulder. “A boulder,” he replied.

“In Tennessee, they tried to say the same thing,” he said. “He’s getting all that money, he’s relaxed. That’s B.S. I make money off the field. If I didn’t want to do this anymore, I wouldn’t have to. It’s not about money. It sounds like a cliche, but it’s about being the best in the world. To be the best in your sport, nobody else can say that. If I get into the Hall of Fame and put on that yellow jacket, that will mean something to me.”

Haynesworth is part of a commercial real estate partnership in Tennessee that he says is doing well.

“There are other things I can do without killing myself,” he said. “The money’s good [from football], don’t get me wrong, but I could be wearing a collared shirt and slacks instead of killing myself and wondering if I’ll be able to walk when I’m 40.

“It’s about being the best. [Redskins owner Dan Snyder] has billions of dollars, but he can’t say he’s the best. He’s completely comfortable, he has great cars and houses, he owns the Redskins and all that, but there are other billionaires out there. This is a rare opportunity. I could be the best there is.”