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Dreams Deferred: Redskins Release First Players

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Trimming down from 90 to 75.

Dustin Bradford

The Washington Redskins began trimming their roster ytwo days ago following Saturday's preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens.  The team did have the maximum 90 players on the roster before placing TE Mike Caussin on the Reserve/Injured list.  After that move to get to 89, the following players were waived:

  • FB Stephen Campbell
  • WR Cody Hoffman
  • LB Jeremy Kimbrough
  • WR Rashad Lawrence
  • S Ross Madison
  • DE Jake McDonough
  • LB Adrian Robinson
  • DE Jeremy Towns

In what was the biggest move of the day, the team also released veteran LB Rob Jackson to trim the roster to 80.

As of the writing of this article today, the Redskins have let go of two more players.  DB Bryan Shepherd has been waived and G Adam Gettis has been released.  The Redskins roster currently stands at 78 with three more cuts needed before tomorrow's 4:00PM Eastern deadline.  The cut-down to the final 53 has to happen by 4:00PM Eastern on Saturday.  Here's what it all means:

  • OLB Rob Jackson - Jackson is what most people would agree is the first and only (so far) big cut of the summer.  He's a 28-year-old veteran who had been with the team since 2008.  It would appear that the team is trying to get younger at OLB after the selection of Trent Murphy with their top pick in the draft and now with keeping 26-year-old Gabe Miller and 27-year-old Everette Brown over Jackson.  By most accounts, both Miller and Brown have shown more in preseason games and practices than Jackson this year.  A lot of people thought Jackson was pretty secure in his standing after the team let go of Brandon Jenkins, but that was clearly not the case.  In my opinion, even the recently waived Adrian Robinson showed more this summer.  Both Miller and Brown have been primary Special Teams players this preseason, as well.  It'll be fun watching those two battle it out in Tampa for the rights to that fourth OLB spot.  Jackson had spent his entire career with the Redskins and only Santana Moss and Kedric Golston have been Redskins longer.  Jackson stepped up admirably in 2012 when Brian Orakpo got hurt and produced 4.5 sacks, four INT's, and one TD.  We'll always have the memories of what Jackson did to Tony Romo to help us sleep at night...
  • G Adam Gettis - Gettis was drafted by the Redskins only two years ago.  By this point in the offseason, most everyone could see that Gettis didn't have much of a chance of sticking around this season, but to see him go in the first wave of cuts is a mild surprise.  The G position had gotten very crowded for the 'Skins this season with the additions of Shawn Lauvao and Spencer Long and Gettis just couldn't cut it.  It should be noted that Gettis was still one of the lightest guards on the team.
  • CB Bryan Shepherd - Shepherd was an undrafted rookie FA who had basically no shot at making the roster.  He's been virtually non-existent this preseason and seemingly did nothing to distinguish himself.  He was deeply behind Richard Crawford and Chase Minnifield and his departure leaves seven CB's still on the roster with 4-6 likely being kept on the final 53.
  • OLB Adrian Robinson - Adrian Robinson showed more than Rob Jackson during this preseason in my opinion and proved to be an NFL player, albeit with another team now.  With the team likely only keep 4-5 OLB's, and with Orakpo, Kerrigan, and Murphy all locks at the position, the competition for those last 1-2 spot(s) was stiff.  Though Robinson flashed at times, he's contributed less than Everette Brown and Gabe Miller, especially on Special Teams.  Those two will now be left to battle it out for the last 1-2 OLB spots.
  • WR Cody Hoffman - Hoffman was mostly notable due to his size.  At 6'4", Hoffman was the tallest WR on the team.  This led many to speculate that he'd have a decent shot at making the team due to Gruden's perceived desire to have tall WR's.  This turned out not to be the case after Hoffman went through all three preseason games without even registering a catch.  With 12 WR's on the roster, the position is one of the deepest on the team with only 5-6 being projected to make the final 53.
  • TE Mike Caussin - Caussin just caught an unlucky break by way of an injury.  He was placed on IR after hurting his knee.  Caussin was a longshot from the jump after being signed on July 21st and having to compete with seventh-round draft pick Ted Bolser and recently acquired Matt Veldman behind the well established top three TE's Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, and Niles Paul.
  • FB Stephen Campbell - Campbell was brought in with perhaps the worst odds of anyone on the 90-man roster of making the final 53.  Some teams keep no FB's.  Some teams keep one.  No teams keep two and Campbell would have needed a miracle to pass Darrel Young on the FB depth chart.  He was brought in largely to be a camp body and allow Young to not have to be in as the only available FB for all necessary plays/reps.
  • LB Jeremy Kimbrough - ILB is one of the deepest position on the roster with the team likely to keep five.  All the reserves have great Special Teams ability, too.  Kimbrough couldn't hang and was pretty far behind the likes of Will Compton, Akeem Jordan, and Darryl Sharpton.  With six ILB's ahead of him on the roster, Kimbrough was caught in a numbers game.
  • WR Rashad Lawrence - Lawrence stuck out to me when I visited training camp this summer... and not in a good way.  While I was there, he seemed to be the worst player in practice (along with Peyton Thompson).  I saw noticeably little effort and a lack of ability against the worst of the DB's on the roster.  He did not catch a pass in the preseason.
  • S Ross Madison - Apparently the staff likes newly acquired Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith better.  The team is likely to keep 4-5 safeties and even with Madison's departure, there are still seven on the roster.  The starters are pretty much set with Meriweather and Clark, and basically everyone would agree that Robinson, Rambo, and Thomas round out the top five with Akeem Davis having a long shot and DCS showing size and Special Teams ability in his limited time here.  It's interesting to note that Trenton Robinson has surpassed Phillip Thomas on the Redskins depth chart.  Robinson has been moved from third-string FS to second-string SS while Phillip Thomas did the exact opposite.
  • DE Jake McDonough - After being signed on July 30th, McDonough hasn't shown much.  DL is deep on this team and McDonough really needed a better showing in preseason games to give himself a chance.  After these initial cuts, there are still nine DL on the team with 5-7 expected on the final roster.
  • DE Jeremy Towns - Much the same as McDonough.  It'll now be left to Chris Neild, Clifton Geathers, Robert Thomas, Frank Kearse, and Stephen Bowen to battle it out for probably the final DL spot.  The situation is still fluid and perhaps two of these guys make it if Bowen is kept on the PUP list to start the season.

The roster now stands at 78 with three more cuts coming before tomorrow at 4:00PM Eastern.  My predictions are Lee Doss, Robert Thomas, and one of either Tevita Stevens or Kevin Kowalski.

Update! (August 26, 10:10AM Eastern):  WR Rashad Ross has been waived.

  • WR Rashad Ross - Ross is somewhat of a surprise in the first wave of cuts.  Most people didn't expect him to make the team, but aside from the top six, he's largely been the best WR throughout preseason.  He caught two balls for 78 yards and returned four KO's for 128 yards (which is good for the best KR on the team thus far in the preseason).  Many on this site have advocated for Ross to make the team and he seemed to have been receiving a lot of hype lately with his big plays in the receiving and return game.  Perhaps there's still a chance he ends up on the PS, but you'd think if they really wanted him there they would have hung on to him 'til the second round of cuts.  This further solidifies Aldrick Robinson's and Santana Moss' place on the roster.

I'm going with Lee Doss and Robert Thomas as the last two cuts.

Update! (August 26, 11:39AM Eastern): C/G Mike McGlynn and TE Matt Veldman are the final two cuts.

  • C/G Mike McGlynn - This is a surprise.  McGlynn was brought in by this coaching staff at one of the weakest positions on the team and has starting experience.  He missed the first preseason game and even if he wasn't going to make the team, most people would have thought he'd be kept past the first cuts.  It would seem that Chris Chester is the back-up C right now.  This makes them keeping 10 OL on the final 53 seem much less likely.  Tevita Stevens was technically the third-string C on the depth chart behind McGlynn, but Chester actually played a series at C during the preseason and would seem more likely to make the team.  Chester has played poorly and has a fairly large salary cap hit, so this whole OL is really up in the air at this point.
  • TE Matt Veldman - Veldman was fifth out of five on the TE depth chart and didn't have much of a chance of sticking.  It's interesting to say the least that he was signed only 12 days ago.  After Caussin became injured, Veldman was signed and both are quickly not in the plans this year.  As of now, there are four TE's on the roster: Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul, and Ted Bolser.

The roster now stands at the league mandated 75.