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Posted at 04:31 PM ET, 08/30/2014

Redskins finalize 53-man roster

Evan Royster was among those cut Saturday. (Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports)

The Washington Redskins announced that they have finalized their 53-man roster by cutting offensive lineman Maurice Hurt and placing wide receiver Leonard Hankerson and defensive end Stephen Bowen on the physically unable to perform list.

As members of the PUP list, Hankerson and Bowen can’t begin practicing until after Week 6.

Those moves, plus the roster moves from this morning and this afternoon, and the eight from Friday evening, put Washington at the league limit of 53 players.

As a recap, the Redskins this morning waived kicker Zach Hocker, cornerback Chase Minnifield, running backs Evan Royster, Chris Thompson and Lache Seastrunk, wide receiver Nick Williams and safety Phillip Thomas. The Redskins also released outside linebacker Everette Brown. Strong safety Brandon Meriweather was placed on the reserve/suspended list at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Washington placed nose tackle Chris Neild on injured reserve after he tore the ACL in his right knee on Thursday. The team also placed inside linebacker Darryl Sharpton on injured reserve with a high-ankle sprain.

On Friday, the Redskins waived tight end Ted Bolser, cornerback Richard Crawford, safety Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith, wide receiver Lee Doss, offensive linemen Kevin Kowalski and Tevita Stevens, punter Robert Malone and nose tackle Robert Thomas.

The Redskins can begin signing players to their practice squad at noon on Sunday.

Here’s a breakdown of the initial 53-man roster, position by position:

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

Running back — 4 — Alfred Morris, Roy Helu Jr., Silas Redd, fullback Darrell Young

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

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

Offensive line — 8 — T Trent Williams, G Shawn Lauvao, C Kory Lichtensteiger, G Chris Chester, T Tyler Polumbus, T Morgan Moses, G Spencer Long, G Josh LeRibeus, T Tom Compton

Defensive line — 7 — DE Chris Baker, NT Barry Cofield, DE Jason Hatcher, DE Jarvis Jenkins, DE/NT Kedric Golston, DE Clifton Geathers, DE Frank Kearse

Linebacker — 9 — OLB Ryan Kerrigan, ILB Keenan Robinson, ILB Perry Riley, OLB Brian Orakpo, OLB Trent Murphy, ILB Adam Hayward, ILB Will Compton, ILB Akeem Jordan, OLB Gabe Miller

Cornerback — 5 — DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, E.J. Biggers, Bashaud Breeland, Chase Minnifield

Safety — 4 — Ryan Clark, Bacarri Rambo, Trenton Robinson, Akeem Davis

Specialists — 3 — PK Kai Forbath, P Tress Way, LS Nick Sundberg

By  |  04:31 PM ET, 08/30/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  53-man roster

Posted at 02:38 PM ET, 08/30/2014

Meriweather’s two-game suspension upheld

Brandon Meriweather will watch the first two games of the season, though probably not through a camera lens. (AP)

Redskins strong safety Brandon Meriweather will serve his two-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith, the NFL announced Saturday afternoon.

Ted Cottrell, the appeals officer jointly appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association, ruled against Meriweather after reviewing the appeal presented by his representatives.

Meriweather leveled the hit against Smith in Washington’s third preseason game. He argued that he was trying to go lower on Smith, but that the receiver had turned and lowered his head while Meriweather was already in the act of attempting the tackle. Smith has since said that he doesn’t believe Meriweather should have received a suspension.

The league and Cottrell disagreed.

It’s the sixth time in Meriweather’s eight-year career that he has received punishment from the NFL for illegal hits.

Meriweather last season received a hefty fine and a one-game suspension for two separate helmet-to-helmet hits. He drew a $42,000 fine for a hit on Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy, and four weeks later, after two illegal hits to the helmet of Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall, Meriweather got hit with a two-game suspension that the appeals officer reduced to one game.

Meriweather’s suspension will run from Sept. 1-15. He is not allowed on team property, or to have contact with members of the organization.

The Redskins will place Meriweather on the reserve/suspended list at 4 p.m. Saturday. He will not count against their 53-man roster. Once he returns from his suspension, the team must make a corresponding roster move.

Follow Mike Jones and Liz Clarke on Twitter for up-to-the minute news on cuts. For all Insider posts involving roster moves, click here. The roster itself is here. For the league-wide transaction wire, click here.

By  |  02:38 PM ET, 08/30/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Brandon Meriweather

Posted at 09:49 AM ET, 08/30/2014

Redskins cut rookie kicker Zach Hocker, sparing Kai Forbath

Rookie Zach Hocker missed a field goal attempt in Thursday’s preseason finale (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

The Redskins spent a seventh-round pick on Arkansas place kicker Zach Hocker this spring, hoping to bring in a youngster with a strong leg who would challenge incumbent Kai Forbath.

Their competition lasted all preseason, with the rookie shining initially, hitting a pair of field goals and making a special-teams tackle during the opener against New England, while Forbath was short on his lone attempt from 46 yards.

But Saturday morning, roughly eight hours before the NFL’s deadline for final roster cuts, it was Hocker who was released.

It all came down to Thursday’s preseason finale at Tampa Bay, in which Hocker missed his lone field-goal attempt, from 39 yards, wide right. Forbath delivered from 45 yards to open the scoring.

Forbath, a third-year veteran, finished the preseason 4 for 5 on field goals and made all of his point-after attempts and show improved distance on his kickoffs.

Hocker was 2 for 3 on field goals.

Gruden voiced satisfaction with both heading into Thursday preseason finale, saying he felt the Redskins would do well with either. After Hocker’s miss, the coach conceded the rookie “missed a great opportunity.”

Follow Mike Jones and Liz Clarke on Twitter for up-to-the minute news on cuts. For all Insider posts involving roster moves, click here. The roster itself is here. For the league-wide transaction wire, click here.

By  |  09:49 AM ET, 08/30/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Kai Forbath, Zach Hocker

Posted at 09:36 AM ET, 08/30/2014

Phillip Thomas, Chase Minnifield among defensive players cut

Phillip Thomas struggled to remain on the field in his second preseason. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

The Redskins have cut young defensive backs Phillip Thomas and Chase Minnifield, a person with knowledge of the situation said Saturday morning. Washington also has cut linebacker Everette Brown while placing fellow linebacker Darryl Sharpton on injured reserve.

Coaches had high hopes for Thomas, a strong safety selected in the fourth round of the 2013 draft out of Fresno State. But he missed all of last season because of a lisfranc (midfoot) injury that required surgery to repair. Thomas made strides this offseason, and coaches saw him as a potential long-term solution at strong safety, but planned on grooming him behind Brandon Meriweather this season. However, Thomas struggled to stay on the field this preseason, missing time with hamstring and foot injuries.

These cuts follow the eight made on Friday evening, and the cuts of running backs Evan Royster, Lache Seastrunk and Chris Thompson, and kicker Zach Hocker, which all took place Saturday morning.

Washington brass would like to re-sign Thomas to the 10-man practice squad, if he goes unclaimed on waivers, a person familiar with the team’s thinking said.

That leaves the Redskins with Ryan Clark, Bacarri Rambo, Trenton Robinson and Akeem Davis at safety. Meriweather will serve a two-game suspension to start the season and doesn’t count against the 53-man roster.

Minnifield signed with the team as an undrafted rookie out of Virginia in 2012. He missed all of 2012 while recovering from knee surgery, but spent last season on Washington’s practice squad.

Minnifield found himself at a crowded position behind starters DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson, and veteran backups E.J. Biggers and Tracy Porter, and rookie Bashaud Breeland.

Brown signed with Washington with training camp in progress, but he overtook long-time backup Rob Jackson with better special teams play. However, he remained in competition with second-year pro Gabe Miller, who this offseason converted from tight end to outside linebacker. Miller also did well on special teams and on defense. On Thursday, he recorded a sack-fumble that set up a touchdown for Washington.

Washington’s coaches hoped to include Sharpton on its special teams units this season. Signed as a free agent this past spring, he impressed with a physical style of play and zeal for special teams. But a high-ankle sprain suffered in Week 1 of the preseason sidelined him for the final three exhibition games.

Keenan Robinson and Perry Riley are the starters at inside linebacker, and Will Compton and Adam Hayward are their backups. Veteran Akeem Jordan also had competed for a roster spot but suffered what is believed to be an MCL sprain on Thursday. His status remains unclear as of now.

By  |  09:36 AM ET, 08/30/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Chase Minnifield, Darryl Sharpton, everette brown, Phillip Thomas

Posted at 09:23 AM ET, 08/30/2014

Redskins release RBs Evan Royster, Lache Seastrunk, Chris Thompson

Running back Chris Thompson. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

The Washington Redskins resumed roster cuts on Saturday morning, releasing running backs Evan Royster, Lache Seastrunk and Chris Thompson, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

Running back represented one of the stiffest competitions of the preseason. Washington had Pro Bowl workhorse back Alfred Morris locked in as the starter, and Roy Helu Jr. as his top backup and primary third-down back. But that left Royster, a four-year veteran, Thompson, a second-year pro, and the two rookies Seastrunk and Silas Redd, to compete for the final spot or two on the unit.

Redskins coaches liked Thompson’s speed, elusiveness and pass-catching ability. But durability was an issue for him as he managed to play in only two preseason games after missing portions of the last three football seasons (one in the NFL and two in college).

Seastrunk shined Thursday night, scoring on an 80-yard catch-and-run on a screen pass. But he also displayed a need for growth this preseason. The team would like to re-sign him to its practice squad if he goes unclaimed.

Royster spent the last three seasons with Washington after the team selected him in the sixth round out of Penn State. He averaged 5.9 yards per carry in six appearances (two starts) as a rookie, and then served as the primary third-down back in 2012, averaging 3.8 yards a carry and 7.3 yards a reception. Royster played only sparingly on offense last season, however.

A lack of speed and physicality was the main stumbling block for Royster in the eyes of his coaches.

Redd this preseason led Washington with 157 rushing yards and a touchdown on 34 carries. He also had three catches for 26 yards. Royster’s former teammate at Penn State before transferring to USC, he signed with Washington as an undrafted rookie this spring. He displayed good versatility with an ability to run well between the tackles, and pick up yards on the edge.

Follow Mike Jones and Liz Clarke on Twitter for up-to-the minute news on cuts. For all Insider posts involving roster moves, click here. The roster itself is here. For the league-wide transaction wire, click here.

By  |  09:23 AM ET, 08/30/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Chris Thompson, Evan Royster, Lache Seastrunk


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