What part of OTA is unclear? – #282 – May 24, 2010

    After Further Review … While National Football League salaries continue to escalate, as they do in all professional sports, I wonder what the thinking is of some sports stars who appear to want to “take it all” without “giving their all.”  What brings this question to mind is one – Albert Haynesworth, #92 defensive tackle of the Washington Redskins.


    Haynesworth’s contract of $100 million includes $41 million guaranteed last year.  He stands 6’6” and weighs an ample 350 pounds.  Albert chose not to attend the Redskins voluntary workouts.  Reportedly, he is “staying away” because he is displeased with Coach Mike Shanahan’s desire to install a 3-4 defense vs. the 4-3 defense of former Redskins Coach Jim Zorn.  The 3-4 defense, reportedly, would put Haynesworth’s 350+ pounds at the nose tackle.


    Shanahan was hired by Redskins owner Dan Snyder to resurrect the Redskins from a 4-12 season (2009).  Shanahan is a long time NFL head coach, who, with the Denver Broncos, won 2 Super Bowls and numerous division titles.  His coaching record ranks him near the top of head coaches with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work.  But that’s not the point.


    What Haynesworth fails to understand is that he is an “employee,” not the employer.  When you work for someone else, who pays you a very healthy ($100 million!) salary, you have 2 choices:  (1) work under the conditions that your employer sets, or (2) quit.  Haynesworth’s objection is that he doesn’t want to play in a 3-4 defense.  Then, Albert, my friend, give Redskins owner Snyder his money back and ask for a trade (to another T.E.A.M.) or just plain quit.  If you do quit (pro football), what kind of market is available to you at your present salary?


    At issue is the “organized T.E.A.M. activities” often referred to as OTA’s.  Granted these OTA’s are voluntary, but a large majority of players do attend.  Why?  They don’t get paid extra, it’s just part of their salary and obligation as a member of that T.E.A.M.  These OTA’s are a chance for coaches to teach new techniques or strategies, along with an opportunity to help players know each other better and develop camaraderie.


    Haynesworth, it seems, just “doesn’t get it.”  Perhaps he should meet with Shanahan and discuss the issue.  If that doesn’t work out to Albert’s satisfaction, maybe he should just go out and buy his own T.E.A.M. – then he can make the rules the way he wants.


    Will you put forth every effort to help better your T.E.A.M?

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