- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 28, 2009

So when will the celebration parade be held? Will the trophy be on display publicly for viewing? Will there be a ring ceremony at halftime during a game in the upcoming season?

The Redskins have won another offseason NFL championship, and if they are going to keep doing that, they might as well make the most out of it, since it is the only title fans can embrace in the Dan Snyder era.

So by all means, let’s trot Albert Haynesworth and his $100 million contract out for all to see. Put him in a convertible and drive him down Pennsylvania Avenue. Owner Dan Snyder and executive vice president Vinny Cerrato as well - the architects of the Redskins’ offseason championship tradition.

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Maybe they could sit on a float with a replica of a table at Olives.

And let’s bring back all the past legends of Redskins offseasons as well - Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders and Jeff George among them. Induct them into the Redskins Ring of Cash - players who came to Washington for the money.

Those three Super Bowl trophies they trotted out Friday for the press conference to introduce Haynesworth? Stick them in a closet somewhere. That was a nice era, but it’s so passe.

The Redskins won another offseason title Friday with the signing of Haynesworth, the monster defensive tackle, for a record $100 million - the most for any defensive player in league history - including a mind-boggling $41 million in guaranteed money.

You might wonder where Snyder keeps getting his money. I know the Redskins are believed to be the biggest revenue-producing sports team in the world, but, hey, we’re watching bank executives appear before Congress pleading for bailouts and businesses closing down by the hour in this brutal economy.

Yet it is business as usual for the Redskins, though I did hear that Six Flags America will now change its name to Three Flags Rhode Island.

Of course, the signing of a talent like the 27-year-old Haynesworth - arguably the best defensive lineman in football - will get Redskins fans waving their team flags in celebration. He had 8.5 sacks last year with the Tennessee Titans, impressive for a defensive tackle and more than a third of what the entire Redskins pass rush got. He also had 75 tackles last year, plus 22 quarterback pressures, seven tackles for a loss and a team-high four forced fumbles.

He was a wrecking crew.

But the celebration by Redskins fans - at least those who still care about the regular season - will be somewhat muted based on the history of the past big-ticket offseason deals that did not translate to results on the field. Their memories go back even further than when Snyder bought the team in 1999 - back to Dana Stubblefield in 1998, and all the busts that the fanfare and money produced.

It also doesn’t help that there are some questions about Haynesworth. He has played a full season only once - his rookie year. In the last six years, he has played 12, 10, 14, 11, 13 and 14 regular-season games, sitting out because of hamstring, elbow and knee injuries.

And there are some character issues, though by NFL standards he has been a Boy Scout. Haynesworth was suspended for five games in 2006 - at the time, the longest ban for on-field behavior in NFL history - for stomping on the head of a helmetless Andre Gurode during a game against the Dallas Cowboys.

This is not the second coming of Reggie White.

The question Redskins fans should have on their minds is whether Haynesworth, who had his two best seasons the past two years - which also were contract years - is following the leaguewide practice of coming to Washington not to win but to get paid.

Haynesworth said all the right things Friday at Redskins Park to ease those concerns. He said being the best is his motivation.

“That is what I live for - to kick butt and let the guy I am facing know that I am the best player he ever played against,” he said.

As far as the money, Haynesworth said: “That is a lot of money, but I put more pressure on myself compared to what any contract would do. The money is awesome, don’t get me wrong. But as far as the pressure, no. I have such high standards.

“I want to be remembered as a great player.”

He just signed a $100 million contract. He should be a great player. He should be the best. Anything else and the Redskins made a bad deal.

If Haynesworth delivers on that desire with results worthy of $100 million, it might be worthy of a parade and celebration of its own.

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