- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The NFL on Tuesday cleared the Washington Redskins of tampering with defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth before the official start of free agency.

Teams were prohibited from speaking to other teams’ potential free agents until 12:01 a.m. Feb. 27. The Redskins and Haynesworth reached a contract agreement five hours later.

The Tennessee Titans reportedly claimed the Redskins had negotiated with Haynesworth’s agent, Chad Speck, before that date.

The NFL notified the Washington Redskins today that following an extensive review it cannot conclude that a tampering violation occurred in the team’s signing of free agent Albert Haynesworth last February, the league said in a statement. The Redskins assured the league that they will re-emphasize with club executives the importance of abiding by the anti-tampering policy and ensure compliance with those rules.

Had they been penalized, the Redskins would have had to forfeit a draft choice or pay a fine. Although tampering claims are often difficult to prove, San Francisco was docked a fifth-round pick last year when the league ruled it had communication with Drew Rosenhaus, the agent for Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs.

Haynesworth signed a seven-year contract worth a guaranteed $41 million and has played 10 of the Redskins’ 13 games. He missed Sunday’s victory at Oakland with an ankle injury but is expected to return to practice Wednesday.

Portis still stuck

Running back Clinton Portis, who was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list Dec. 8, said he won’t pick up his physical activity until February.

I really haven’t tried to lift [weights], he said on ESPN 980’s The John Thompson Show. I’m still doing the treadmill. I tried to run outside, and it seemed like everything around me was bouncing. Once they put me on IR, there was no rush to go out and try to run again.

Portis hasn’t visited with doctors since his exams last week in Pittsburgh.

Batiste released

The Redskins released D’Anthony Batiste and signed linebacker Curtis Gatewood from Pittsburgh’s practice squad.

Batiste played in eight games this year but saw extensive left tackle time in one game (at Carolina) when he replaced Chris Samuels.

Gatewood was on the Redskins’ practice squad two times last year before playing six games with Kansas City. He has been with the Chiefs, Detroit, Philadelphia and the Steelers since last season.

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