Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth failed to show up at a mandatory minicamp this week and asked to be traded. Haynesworth is disgruntled because he doesn’t want to play nose tackle in new defensive coordinator Jim Haslett’s 3-4 defense.

Back in April I wrote that the Skins should trade Haynesworth for kick return specialist Joshua Cribbs of the Cleveland Browns. Trade a dominant Pro Bowl defensive tackle for a special teamer?  Yes. Cribbs is one of the most dynamic players in the NFL.

The problem is, the Browns probably wouldn’t do it. Especially now that teams know Haynesworth wants out and the Skins would like to get something for him.

The Redskins have neglected special teams for the last 10 years, ever since they let Brian Mitchell go.  Even in the 90s, the Skins didn’t have any great kickers or punters of note.

Former Redskins kick returner Mike Nelms at the 2008 Hall of Fame inductions of Art Monk and Darrell Green. (Photo by Mike Frandsen)

Teams are so even nowadays that special teams can make a huge difference.  One of the hallmarks of the great Redskins teams of the past was special teams. George Allen was the first coach to hire a special teams coach in the 1970s. Then during the Redskins’ Super Bowl run from the 1982-1991 seasons, Washington had standout special teams players like Mark Moseley, Mike Nelms, Greg Williams, and Pete Cronan “the Barbarian.”  It would be nice for the team to recognize the unsung players as much as the superstar, name players.

Cribbs is one of the best players in the NFL regardless of position. Last year he scored two kickoff returns of more than 100 yards in one game. He holds the NFL record for most kickoff returns for touchdowns with eight, and he’s only 26.  At 6-1 and 215 lbs., Cribbs has elite speed and quickness for his size.

At this point, the Skins may not be able to get enough value to make a trade worthwhile.  Maybe Haynesworth just wants to skip much of training camp and come in just before the season if he can’t get traded.

For the rest of the article in about a potential Haynesworth-Cribbs trade, click here.