Washington Redskins make final cuts; Chad Rinehart, Willie Parker among those let go

With a majority of the Redskins' projected opening-day starters getting the night off, a group of hopefuls and long-shots get their chance to make a final impression against the Cardinals.
By Paul Tenorio and Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, September 4, 2010; 10:25 PM

Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan finalized his first 53-man roster Saturday, further distancing the team from the previous regime by cutting ties with two more members of the disappointing 2008 draft class.

Offensive lineman Chad Rinehart, a third-round pick in 2008, was released and cornerback Justin Tryon, a fourth-round pick, was traded to the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.

Linebacker Rob Jackson, a seventh-round pick in 2008, also was released, though a league source said he is a candidate to be signed to the team's practice squad.

Those three players join the casualties of a draft class that included punter Durant Brooks (sixth round) and Colt Brennan (sixth round), both of whom were released, Brooks in 2008 and Brennan this August.

Wide receiver Malcolm Kelly, a second-round selection in '08, was placed on injured reserve last week with a hamstring injury, and Devin Thomas, another second-round selection, made the roster but is buried on the depth chart at wide receiver.

The moves are part of an overhaul that emphasized Shanahan's belief that draft choices get no special treatment when it comes to roster cuts, and that the best players will be kept regardless of experience or pedigree.

The Redskins also cut or traded four of their six selections from the 2010 draft - Shanahan's first with the team.

"The worst thing people can do is keep a draft pick just to keep a draft pick," Shanahan said earlier this week. "What you do is you keep the people who give you the best chance to win."

Among the day's highest profile moves was the release of veteran running back Willie Parker, which was not a surprise.

The former Pittsburgh Steelers star was signed this offseason along with former Kansas City Chiefs star Larry Johnson to provide depth and competition for incumbent Clinton Portis. During the summer, however, it was clear that Portis and Johnson had separated themselves as the top two running backs on the depth chart.

First-round pick Brian Orakpo and third-rounder Kevin Barnes remain from the Redskins' six-man 2009 draft class. Sixth-rounder Robert Henson injured his knee in the Redskins final preseason game and was cut Saturday.

Not one member of the 2008 draft class is expected to start on Sept. 12 when the Redskins open the season in prime time against the Dallas Cowboys, though safety Kareem Moore had won a job before a knee injury sidelined him.

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