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Posted at 06:50 PM ET, 08/29/2014

Redskins cut eight; 14 moves to follow by 4 p.m. Saturday

The Washington Redskins waived eight players Friday, with the release of punter Robert Malone ranking as the most surprising of the moves.

Malone, a third-year veteran, had outperformed first-year punter Blake Clingan, whom Washington released two weeks ago. The team brought in another first-year pro in Tress Way, who spent the offseason with Chicago but was released after struggling mightily with the Bears. But on Thursday night, Way out-punted Malone, recording an average of 51.5 yards on two attempts. Malone had one attempt of 31 yards after averaging 39.8 yards per punt on his first six attempts of the preseason.

Malone followed Redskins special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica to Washington from New York, where he spent portions of the past two seasons with the Jets.

Way for the preseason averaged 40.9 yards per punt, but he had sent a total of four out of bounds with Chicago, which played a factor in his release.

Washington still might bring in additional punters to audition for the job.

The other players released include wide receiver Lee Doss and nose tackle Robert Thomas, according to a news release issued by the team. The team also confirmed the release of cornerback Richard Crawford, tight end Ted Bolser, safety Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith, offensive linemen Kevin Kowalski and Tevita Stevens.

The Redskins must make another 14 roster moves by 4 p.m. on Saturday. Two possible moves include the placing of defensive end Stephen Bowen and wide receiver Leonard Hankerson on the regular season physically unable to perform list. Both are still working their way back to full strength after serious knee surgeries. Both have spent all of training camp and the preseason on the PUP list.

Follow Jones on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news on cuts leading up to Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline to trim the roster from 75 to 53 players.

More from The Post:

Mike Jones final 53-man roster projection | Quiz: You make the cut

Hocker fails in quest for perfect preseason | Davis angles for a roster spot

Running backs impress as Redskins wrap up preseason with win

Bog: Redskins-Buccaneers best and worst | NFL preseason scoreboard

More NFL: Home page | D.C. Sports Bog | The Early Lead | Fancy Stats | Fantasy

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @lizclarketweet | @JReidPost | @Insider

By  |  06:50 PM ET, 08/29/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Roster cuts

Posted at 04:28 PM ET, 08/29/2014

Cornerback Richard Crawford among first players cut by Redskins


Richard Crawford watches Tampa Bay’s Solomon Patton catch a pass, which he ran in for a touchdown during Thursday night’s preseason finale. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

The Redskins on Friday afternoon began cutting players as they work to slash the roster from 75 to 53 players by the league’s 4 p.m. deadline on Saturday.

Third-year cornerback Richard Crawford, first-year safety Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith and guard/center Tevita Stevens ranked among the first players released, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation.

The team also has released rookie tight end Ted Bolser, according to a report from ESPN.

Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Thursday night that he anticipated making some cuts Friday afternoon and evening, and then wrapping up the roster moves on Saturday.

Crawford had seemed like a long shot to make the roster at a crowded position led by starters DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson, top nickelback E.J. Biggers, veteran Tracy Porter and promising rookie Bashaud Breeland.

Washington drafted Crawford in the seventh round of the 2012 draft. He excelled as a punt returner his rookie year, but then missed all of his second season with torn multiple ligaments in his left knee during the preseason of 2013. Crawford had struggled to make an impact this preseason.

Cromartie-Smith joined Washington midway through training camp and had to play catch-up while also battling for a roster spot.

Stevens spent last season on Washington’s practice squad and played as a backup center and guard this preseason.

Bolser faced long odds to make the roster with three veteran players at his position in Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen and Niles Paul. He, like Stevens, Crawford and Cromartie-Smith, has practice squad eligibility.

By  |  04:28 PM ET, 08/29/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Roster cuts

Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 08/29/2014

Trio of Redskins running backs shine against Tampa Bay


Silas Redd, left. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

TAMPA, Fla.  — Silas Redd ran behind the left guard for an 11-yard gain to open the third quarter, then streaked 20 yards behind the right guard two plays later. He tried vaulting over a defender for one gain and lost his helmet on another play.

There was no route the rookie running back didn’t attack during his final audition for a spot on the Redskins’ 53-man roster in Washington’s 24-10 preseason victory over Tampa Bay.

But all around him, Redd saw his fellow backs showing the same athleticism and zeal in what amounted to the last battle for a limited number of jobs.

“Every time we all get in there, we make something happen — top to bottom,” Redd said of his teammates and rivals for the two roster spots believed in play.

Pro Bowler Alfred Morris has locked up the starting running back job, and Roy Helu Jr. appears to have cemented himself as the primary backup. But Coach Jay Gruden may well keep four backs, in addition to fullback Darrel Young, provided the other two are an asset on special teams, as well, and ideally add a pass-catching dimension.

Thursday against Tampa Bay, three impressed: Redd, who gained a game-high 79 yards on 14 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown rumble; Lache Seastrunk, who exploded for an 80-yard touchdown reception while rushing six times for 23 yards; and second-year back Chris Thompson, who caught all four passes thrown his way and gained 18 yards on eight carries.

“You want that competition,” Redd said. “Along with the competition, there’s no animosity. We feed off each other and make each other better.”

Seastrunk echoed the thought.

“We all made plays,” said Seastrunk, a rookie from Baylor. “We’re all great backs. It’s gonna be really, really hard. And may the best man get the job.”

Earlier this month Seastrunk lost his beloved grandmother. He said he felt her presence Thursday as he ran nearly the full length of the field for the score.

“It was coolest feeling in the world,” he said. “I had to wave at her and say thank you.”

With Gruden forced to cut 22 players by 4 p.m. on Saturday to reach the NFL limit of 53, Seastrunk acknowledged that the next 36 hours would be difficult. But he said he’ll be at peace with the outcome.

“What God makes for you, he can take from you,” Seastrunk said. “God has me in His hands. My grandmother’s looking out for me. So it’s whatever He wants. It’s already written already. I can’t fight what happened. I only can control what I can control.”

Thompson, a fifth-round pick in the 2013 draft, missed the previous two preseason games with a sprained ankle. Thursday was his lifeline — one last chance to prove he could produce while withstanding the game-day pounding.

So Thompson said a prayer before stepping onto the field.

Afterward, he said he wished Gruden would keep all six running backs, even though he knew it would be impossible.

“We played well tonight,” Thompson said. “I hope I [showed enough], but all I can do is control what I do on the field. Now it’s in the coaches’ hands.”

Follow Jones on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news on cuts leading up to Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline to trim the roster from 75 to 53 players.

More from The Post:

Mike Jones final 53-man roster projection | Quiz: You make the cut

Hocker fails in quest for perfect preseason | Davis angles for a roster spot

Running backs impress as Redskins wrap up preseason with win

Bog: Redskins-Buccaneers best and worst | NFL preseason scoreboard

More NFL: Home page | D.C. Sports Bog | The Early Lead | Fancy Stats | Fantasy

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @lizclarketweet | @JReidPost | @Insider

By  |  11:15 AM ET, 08/29/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Chris Thompson, Evan Royster, Lache Seastrunk, Silas Redd

Posted at 10:07 AM ET, 08/29/2014

Mike Jones’s final 53-man roster projection


Running backs coach Randy Jordan, left, has some hard choices ahead. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

The final auditions have taken place, and now coaches have to make some hard decisions as they select the 53-man roster.

The toughest calls are at running back and safety. As you’ll see, I’ve changed my mind on this spot each week, and I have twice since last night’s game. (Editor’s note: And since we first published this ‘You make the cut’ quiz, which has since updated.)

Safety is another tough spot because of long-term uncertainty hovering over Meriweather (risk of suspensions) and Thomas (injuries).

But here’s one final stab at the initial 53-man roster.

Quarterback — 3: Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy.

(Last week: Griffin, Cousins, McCoy)

This projection remains the same. Jay Gruden again spoke highly of McCoy and his contributions to the room, and he also is the insurance policy if Griffin, who in Game 2 displayed his reckless side again, can’t remain healthy and Cousins has to take over.

Running back — 5: Alfred Morris, Roy Helu Jr., Silas Redd, Lache Seastrunk, fullback Darrel Young

(Last week: Morris, Helu, Royster, Young)

The two rookies pulled off the upset, in my mind. Redd averaged 5.6 yards a carry and had a touchdown, as well as a catch for eight yards. He’s faster than Evan Royster (his former Penn State teammate and close friend) and more effective running between the tackles. Seastrunk showed he has fantastic speed and that home run threat, taking a pass 80 yards to paydirt. He also is a more effective runner than Thompson because he is a little bigger and stronger. Another factor: Durability. Seastrunk practiced for two weeks on a bad foot that caused a lot of pain. Thompson has a long injury history. He does have practice-squad eligibility. I really like Royster, so this is a hard call. I like Thompson, too. Tough, tough call, and my job doesn’t depend on it. Imagine being RB coach Randy Jordan, who actually choked back tears when I asked him about how tough a decision this was going to be.

Wide receiver — 6: Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Santana Moss, Aldrick Robinson, Ryan Grant

(Last week: Garcon, Jackson, Roberts, Moss, Robinson, Grant)

This group remains unchanged. Throughout camp and the preseason, this has been pretty clear regarding the top six at this position. Lee Doss and Nick Williams both have practice-squad eligibility.

Tight end — 3: Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul

(Last week: Reed, Paulsen, Paul)

Ted Bolser never had a strong chance of making this roster with the talented Reed, seasoned Paulsen and versatile Paul ahead of him.

Offensive line — 8: Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester, Tyler Polumbus, Morgan Moses, Spencer Long, Josh LeRibeus

(Last week: Williams, Lauvao, Lichtensteiger, Chester, Polumbus, LeRibeus, Moses, McGlynn, Long, Compton)

McGlynn didn’t survive the first cuts, but quickly signed with the Chiefs. Compton seemed to regress. Moses had a very up and down night at right tackle, but Compton hasn’t been significantly better.

Defensive line — 6: Chris Baker, Barry Cofield, Jason Hatcher, Jarvis Jenkins, Kedric Golston, Clifton Geathers.

(Last week: Chris Baker, Barry Cofield, Jason Hatcher, Jarvis Jenkins, Chris Neild, Kedric Golston)

Chris Neild’s ACL injury opens the door for Geathers. Golston and Baker can both back up Cofield at nose, and I still have Stephen Bowen opening the season on the PUP list.

Linebacker — 9: Ryan Kerrigan, Keenan Robinson, Perry Riley Jr., Brian Orakpo, Trent Murphy, Adam Hayward, Will Compton, Everette Brown, Akeem Jordan

(Last week: Kerrigan, Robinson, Riley, Orakpo, Murphy, Hayward, Compton, Jackson, Sharpton)

In a mildly surprising move, Washington cut Rob Jackson. Everette Brown stood out on special teams more. Sharpton would’ve beaten Jordan out had he been healthy, but he missed the final three preseason games with a high-ankle sprain. However, if it turns out Jordan’s knee injury from last night is serious, then I’d put Sharpton back on the list.

Cornerback — 5: DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, E.J. Biggers, Bashaud Breeland, Tracy Porter

(Last week: Hall, Amerson, Biggers, Breeland, Porter)

Porter battled injuries off and on this preseason (as he has all his career), but coaches like his experience. Richard Crawford and Chase Minnifield just didn’t seem to make an impact.

Safety — 5: Ryan Clark, Bacarri Rambo, Phillip Thomas, Trenton Robinson, Akeem Davis

(Last week: Brandon Meriweather, Ryan Clark, Phillip Thomas, Bacarri Rambo)

Because of his suspension, Meriweather will not count against the 53 for the first two weeks. Thomas’s fragile health helps Robinson, who can play both positions and plays special teams. Akeem Davis was stellar on special teams last night. He also showed he has a nose for the ball on defense.

Specialists — 3: Kai Forbath, Robert Malone, Nick Sundberg

(Zach Hocker, Robert Malone, Nick Sundberg)

The veteran Forbath stood tall under pressure while rookie Hocker whiffed on a big kick.

Follow Jones on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news on cuts leading up to Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline to trim the roster from 75 to 53 players.

More from The Post:

Running backs each impress  | Quiz: You make the cut

Hocker fails in quest for perfect preseason

Redskins wrap up preseason with win | Davis angles for a roster spot

Bog: Redskins-Buccaneers best and worst | NFL preseason scoreboard

More NFL: Home page | D.C. Sports Bog | The Early Lead | Fancy Stats | Fantasy

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @lizclarketweet | @JReidPost | @Insider

By  |  10:07 AM ET, 08/29/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 08/29/2014

You make the cut: Which Redskins would you keep?


Lache Seastrunk is one of the players on the roster bubble. (Richard Lipski/Associated Press)

Washington must trim its roster from 75 to 53 players by Saturday at 4 p.m. Coach Jay Gruden and staff have difficult decisions on their hands.

If you were in the room making the final call, who would you take? We built a 14-question quiz so you can flex your GM muscles.

Mike Jones provides the fringe players he’d keep and those he’d cut. Your job is to go through each position (QB excluded, since the three players there are fairly set) to see if your choices match up with his.

Take the quiz here.

(Note: The quiz was updated at 12:15 p.m. to reflect Jones’s final roster projection; some answers have changed. If you didn’t score well the first time, take it again!)

Follow Jones on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news on cuts leading up to Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline to trim the roster from 75 to 53 players.

More from The Post:

Running backs impress as Redskins wrap up preseason with win

Redskins’ safety Davis sees an opening, tries to blast through it

Bog: Redskins-Buccaneers best and worst | NFL preseason scoreboard

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More NFL: Home page | D.C. Sports Bog | The Early Lead | Fancy Stats | Fantasy

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @lizclarketweet | @JReidPost | @Insider

By and  |  09:00 AM ET, 08/29/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

 

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