Simmering all year, the antagonism between Albert Haynesworth and Mike Shanahan finally reached the boiling point yesterday when the two-time All-Pro defensive lineman was suspended by the Washington Redskins coach without pay for the rest of the season.
Citing a litany of acts that essentially add up to season-long insubordination, the Redskins suspended Haynesworth for "conduct detrimental to the club" and told him he's not welcome for the team's final four games - and making it extremely unlikely he will play for the club again.
"Despite the club's numerous attempts to persuade Albert Haynesworth to abide by the terms of his contract, he has repeatedly refused to cooperate with our coaching staff in a variety of ways over an extended period of time," Shanahan said in statement released by the team.
The suspension is the maximum permitted under the league's collective bargaining agreement. Haynesworth's agent, Chad Speck, said his client will appeal.
George Atallah, spokesman for the NFL players' union, said on Twitter: "All I can say at this time is that the NFLPA is reviewing the details."
It wasn't hard to see this coming.
The two-time All-Pro defensive tackle skipped offseason workouts, boycotted a mandatory minicamp, and needed 10 days to pass a conditioning test at training camp. He was deactivated for last Sunday's loss to the Giants after being late for a meeting on Friday then being limited at practice because of an unspecified illness.
By suspending Haynesworth instead of releasing him, the Redskins keep him from getting what he might have coveted - a chance to play for a contender late in the season.
* A lawyer for former Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor will be permitted to conduct a pretrial hearing to question police officers about Taylor's rape arrest, according to a report. ESPNNewYork.com reported that Taylor's defense is claiming that his arrest was illegal because police did not have a warrant when they entered his hotel in Rockland County in suburban New York in May. The 51-year-old Taylor, who played his entire career for the Giants from 1981-93, is accused of having sex with a 16-year-old prostitute. He has pleaded not guilty to third-degree rape, patronizing a prostitute, sexual abuse and endangering a child.
* Phil Reese, the manager for Jennifer Sterger, the former Jets game hostess who allegedly received inappropriate phone messages and photos from Brett Favre said he is concerned that the quarterback will be retired before the NFL concludes its investigation. Reese said Sterger wants the investigation finished during the season because Favre has said he will retire at the end of this year, at which point he may no longer be susceptible to punishment from the league.
* Defensive back Quintin Demps, who played in 28 games over the last two seasons with the Eagles, signed with the Houston Texans. Demps was a fourth-round pick in 2008 and was waived before the start of this season. The Texans also placed defensive end Jesse Nading on injured reserve with a knee injury.
* The NFL reached an agreement with the NFL Players' Association to extend the union's deadline to file a collusion claim. The league and the NFLPA announced the move in a joint statement. The union had until this week - 90 days after the start of the season - to level charges that teams had conspired to restrict players' salaries this past offseason. The new deadline was not revealed.
* New York Jets safety James Ihedigbo is having an MRI exam on his knee and sprained ankle, and coach Rex Ryan says the team will have to cut Laveranues Coles to make roster room for a healthy safety. Coles was signed last Sunday to his fourth stint with the team.
* Arizona placed quarterback Max Hall on injured reserve and signed former Washington third-stringer Richard Bartel. Hall dislocated his left shoulder after relieving concussed starter Derek Anderson in last Sunday's loss to St. Louis. Arizona third-string quarterback John Skelton finished the game and could start Sunday against Denver.
* San Francisco coach Mike Singletary said Alex Smith will be the 49ers starting quarterback Sunday against Seattle. Smith, who hasn't played since dislocating his nonthrowing left shoulder on Oct. 24 at Carolina, will replace Troy Smith, who started last weekend's loss to Green Bay.