Associated Press
Thursday, December 9, 2010

WASHINGTON | Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said it was a coincidence that Albert Haynesworth’s four-game suspension came with four games left in the season.

Haynesworth this week was given the longest suspension possible under the terms of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, and it just so happened it is long enough to keep him from returning this year.

“That really wasn’t part of the decision,” Allen told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Thursday night. “We took the action Tuesday because that was the appropriate time.”

Haynesworth has been a problem for the Redskins all season, from the time the two-time All-Pro defensive lineman began boycotting the team’s offseason workout program in March.

The suspension, for “conduct detrimental to the club,” is seen as another sign of the authority that coach Mike Shanahan has been given by owner Dan Snyder. Shanahan said he didn’t consult Snyder about the decision to suspend a player with a $100 million contract.

Allen said he was the one that informed Snyder — once the decision had been made.

“I spoke to Dan after we informed Albert,” Allen said.

Haynesworth is appealing the suspension, which would cost him $847,000 in salary if upheld. Haynesworth’s agent, Chad Speck, on Tuesday issued a statement chiding the Redskins for not issuing any prior “letters or formal notices” that his client’s behavior was in question.

Asked to respond, Allen said: “I don’t know what they mean by their statement, but we feel that we took the appropriate action for the situation.”

Allen was noncommittal when asked whether the Redskins might also try to recoup some of the bonus money already paid to Haynesworth. Haynesworth received a $21 million bonus on April 1.

“We don’t discuss our football business matters,” Allen said.

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