By Mike Jones
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 1, 2011; 10:27 PM
Continuing their purge of prominent names, the Washington Redskins cut linebacker/defensive end Andre Carter and left guard Derrick Dockery on Tuesday.
Carter, a 10-year veteran, was owed a $4.075 million bonus this offseason. The Redskins' decision not to pick up that option voids the remainder of his deal and makes him an unrestricted free agent.
Carter this past season struggled in his transition from defensive end - the position he played for nine of his 10 seasons. When Mike Shanahan took over as head coach, he directed defensive coordinator Jim Haslett to install a 3-4 system, which required a position change for Carter.
Unaccustomed to blitzing from a two-point stance, Carter admittedly wasn't as effective as he was in previous seasons, including 2009, when he had 11 sacks.
Carter also struggled in pass coverage. To his credit, he never complained.
Carter said he looks forward to returning to defensive end, and he's excited about a fresh start.
Dockery, who was owed $3.82 million for the coming season, said the move didn't come as much of a surprise after a frustrating season in which he suited up for only five games.
Prior to his benching in Week 3 against St. Louis, Dockery had started 111 straight games dating back to his rookie season out of Texas. The Redskins selected Dockery in the third round of the 2003 draft, and he played for the team for five seasons before signing with Buffalo as a free agent. The Bills waived Dockery two seasons later, and Dockery re-signed with Washington in 2009.
The 6-foot-6, 325-pound Dockery said Shanahan told him he wasn't a good fit for the zone blocking scheme the coach implemented when he came to Washington last season.
"He said I wasn't a good fit for the system, but I know I can play in any scheme, man," Dockery said. "All is well, though. I'm looking ahead to what's next. I'm approaching this offseason and making sure that I'm in the best shape I've ever been. I feel good, I'm healthy, and I know I still have great ball left in me."
Dockery said the Redskins' 2005 playoff run stands out as his fondest memory of his time here.
"Clinton [Portis] had a great year, and we went down to Tampa for the playoffs," Dockery recalled. "I remember us being in goal line, I had a huge block to spring Clinton.
"The Redskins will always hold a special place in my heart. I had a chance to play for some unbelievable coaches in Joe Gibbs and Buges [offensive line coach Joe Bugel]. The fans here have always been tremendous. Even when I went [to Buffalo] and would come back they showed me love. I'm going to retire here, this will be my home."