Albert Haynesworth is free and clear, his conviction after he was accused of fondling a waitress at the W Hotel two years ago wiped off the books.
Unfortunately for the Washington Redskins, they are still doing time for their own Haynesworth crime.
The record of Haynesworth's conviction was dismissed this week after a D.C. Superior Court judge ruled the former Redskins defensive tackle had completed more than 160 hours of community service and passed psychological and alcohol assessment testing, according to the Washington Post.
Community service? Is that all it takes? Redskins general manager Bruce Allen would bathe homeless people for 160 hours if his team could get out from under the $36 ?million salary cap hit it took -- $18 million last year and another $18 million this coming season -- for trying to get some relief from the crime committed by the general manager before him: that $100 ?million deal Vinny Cerrato gave Haynesworth in 2009.
Unfortunately, the Redskins aren't dealing with the D.C. Superior Court. Their court of justice is the NFL and its fellow owners, and that jury isn't particularly sympathetic.
In fact, New York Giants owner John Mara sounded like a hanging judge when he declared after the punishment came down last year that the Redskins were "lucky they didn't lose draft picks" and "I thought the penalties imposed were proper."
But there was nothing proper about the owners' collusion in the uncapped season of 2010, when the Redskins paid out much of the Haynesworth contract and other oppressive deals to escape future salary cap woes.
Even Redskins critics thought NFL owners were being unfair to the Redskins -- and the Cowboys, who were penalized $10 million over two seasons in salary cap hits -- since there were no actual rules broken. The Redskins basically opted not to take part in the conspiracy.
The NFL still could give the Redskins a break on the salary cap hit, but that would mean some sort of sympathetic ear. And it is clear that no one on the NFL landscape is particularly sympathetic to the plight of the Redskins.
As far as they are concerned, the team is getting what it deserved for the Haynesworth contract.
This is the root of the problem -- the Redskins don't have many friends in the league. Over the years, they have angered and alienated many with their freewheeling spending style. Some owners groused when the team signed Haynesworth to the $100?
million contract because a deal like that raises the salary ceiling for all free agents. And those owners were really angry when the Redskins, under Allen and new coach Mike Shanahan, tried to get out from under the bad deal.
Lots of enemies. Not many friends.
The Redskins were dealt a bad hand in the salary cap hit. But some would call it justice.