Washington agreed to contracts with all of its top draft picks by late Thursday night, when it reached deals for undisclosed terms with first-round selection Ryan Kerrigan and second-rounder Jarvis Jenkins. It also added two potential starters through free agency.
But the Redskins still had roughly 20 roster spots open to fill to meet the NFL-allowed maximum of 90 players. And by shedding approximately $12.25 million of salary cap room by releasing veterans, they seemed to be positioning themselves for additional acquisitions in the coming days.
The Redskins traded Haynesworth, their biggest headache from last season, to the Patriots for a fifth-round pick in the 2013 draft. Haynesworth, who was signed in 2009 to a free agent contract that included $41 million guaranteed, clashed with Shanahan repeatedly last season and appeared in only eight games, recording 16 tackles and 21
2 sacks. He was suspended for the final four games of the season.
Some of the team’s locker room leaders from recent years were sent packing as well, as the Redskins informed Daniels, a 15-year veteran, and Rabach, an 11-year veteran, they were being released. Also cut were nose tackle Ma’ake Kemoeatu, wide receiver Roydell Williams, backup running backs Andre Brown and Chad Simpson, and punters Josh Bidwell and Sam Paulescu.
“They said they’re going younger,” Rabach said before reflecting on his six seasons in Washington. “The relationships that I made with all the guys on the team and those people in the building [will stand out most]. But on the field, the season Sean Taylor passed was the year that will always be with me. Those guys that were on the team and coaching staff. There were so many highs and lows. And what we did to get in the playoffs: truly special.”
The Redskins further strengthened their defense by luring Stephen Bowen away from the Dallas Cowboys with a five-year deal worth $27.5 million, including $12.5 million guaranteed. He will join Barry Cofield, signed away from the New York Giants on Wednesday, on a revamped defensive line.
“When free agency hit at 10 a.m., they called at 10:01,” Bowen said. “From there, Coach Shanahan called every day to check and see what I was going to do. The D-line coach, the defensive coordinator did, too. They kept saying they really, really liked me, and they were impressed with the way I played in the past and they really wanted me to be a part of the team. Their enthusiasm, that was the big thing.”
The Redskins also made their first addition to the offensive line by picking up guard Chris Chester, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, for a five-year, $20 million deal, according to his agent, Craig Domann.