Redskins release WR Anthony Armstrong

August 31, 2012

After failing in their attempts to trade him to the Miami Dolphins, the Washington Redskins informed wide receiver Anthony Armstrong Friday that he will be released.

Armstrong, who was entering his third season with the team, announced the news via his Twitter account, saying “#RedskinNation Ty for embracing me, unfortunately my time has come to an end. GL to @RGIII @DezBriscoe89 & the rest of the team.”

Anthony Armstrong
Wide receiver Anthony Armstrong was slowed by a shoulder injury before recording two catches for 61 yards on Wednesday. (Rick Carr/Getty Images).

Armstrong was the odd man out in a crowded wide receiver unit that the Redskins upgraded with free the agent signings of Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan. The anticipated development of second-year pro Leonard Hankerson and the return of Santana Moss left Armstrong to battle with Dezmon Briscoe, Aldrick Robinson, Terrence Austin and Brandon Banks for two of the final spots at their position.

Briscoe recorded six catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns this preseason, and Robinson had eight catches for 132 yards and a touchdown. Austin, who had five catches for 52 yards, was released Friday, well before Armstrong (three catches for 76 yards) received word of his fate. Brandon Banks (91-yard punt return for a touchdown, three catches for 54 yards) also made the team.

The final decision came down to Armstrong and Briscoe. Just before 8 p.m., Armstrong learned of his release and sent out the announcement over twitter.

The receiver had been the subject of trade talks between Washington and Miami. The Redskins were trying to deal Armstrong for running back Steve Slaton, according to people with knowledge of the situation. But the two sides were unable to come to terms on an agreement and the Redskins cut Armstrong.

Armstrong was the character of a rags to riches story, who worked in a shopping mall while playing in lower-tier indoor football leagues before catching on with the Dolphins’ practice squad in 2008. He made Washington’s practice squad in 2009, and in 2010 broke out with 44 catches for 871 yards and three touchdowns — the second-highest total for a wideout on the team. Injuries derailed his season last year, however, and he recorded only seven catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns.

Armstrong’s release eliminated 21of the 22 players the Redskins were required to shed by 9 p.m. Friday. The team also cut receiver Terrence Austin; quarterback Jonathan Crompton; offensive linemen Tom Compton, Erik Cook, Grant Garner and Willie Smith; running backs Tim Hightower and Tristan Davis; and tight end Richard Quinn. On defense, the team released cornerback Travon Bellamy and Brandyn Thompson; linebackers Brian McNally and Donnell Holt; and linemen Delvin Johnson, Marlon Favorite, Doug Worthington and Darrion Scott. The team was attempting to trade backup linebacker Bryan Kehl, but planned to release him if it was unsuccessful.
 
The team also was negotiating an injury settlement and release with backup fullback Dorson Boyce, who hurt his shoulder Wednesday.

 Tanard Jackson will go on the suspended reserve list.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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Mark Maske · August 31, 2012