It was revolving-door time yesterday at Redskin Park, with a wide receiver and tight end coming in via trades and four players, including running back Tommy Reamon and veteran linebacker Stu O'Dell, leaving quietly, victims of the latest player cutdown.
The Redskins gave the Baltimore Colts a sixth-round pick in 1979 for third-year wide receiver Ricky Thompson and sent a sixth-round choice in 1980 to the Atlanta Falcons for four-year veteran tight end Greg McCrary.
Released with O'Dell and Reamon were rookie punter George Roberts and rookie cornerback Mike Williams. The Redskins are now at the 50-player limit. They must cut seven more players by next Tuesday, then can add two to make up the 45-man regular-season roster.
The cut of Reamon leaves the Redskins with only four running backs, and coach Jack Pardee indicated he would probably add another before the regular-season openr against New England.
That back could well be Reamon, who has played well all during the preseason and and helped beat the Minnesota Vikings with a game-winning touchdown catch and 73 yards rushing. "If he's not chained," Pardee said, "he knows our system and we could pick him back up."
The cut of O'Dell a wicked hinter on the special teams, was not popular among his teammates although not entirely unexpected. The Redskins were not able to trade him because he spent most of the 1977 season on the injured-reserve list, and O'Dell was caught in what coaches refer to as the numbers game.
Because of his injured-reserve status last year, O'Dell cannot rejoin the Redskins again this season.
O'Dell's release left the Redskins with seven linebackers. They will continue to carry that number to assure enough manpower for use in the 34 defense, which utilizes four linebackers. Pardee indicated he may even carry eight.
The cuts of Roberts and Williams were not surprising, even though both rookies had played well during the preseason.
Roberts, a rookie from Virginia Tech. had averaged 42.2 years for nine exhibition-game punts. He had the misfortune of competing against veteran Mike Bragg, one of the NFL's most consistent leg men.
"A lot of people had shown interest in George," Pardee said, "but we couldn't work out a trade. He's still a relative unknown, but I think he's still got a good chance to hook on with somebody."
Williams the Redskin's 11th-round draft choice out of Texas A&7, had show promise as a punt returner. He ran one punt back 40 yards against the Packers and averaged 13.4 years per return in the preseason.
But after Tony Green's performance returning kickoffs last week against the Colts, Williams became expendable, Pardee said. Green, rookie receiver J.T. Smith, Ricky Thompson and, perhaps, even veterans Ken Houston and Lemar Parrish, may be used to return punts.
The acquisition of Thompson from the Colts gives the Redskins another swifty at wide receiver. The Colts' eighth-round pick out of Baylor in 1976. Thompson spent most of the last two years working on the Colts' special team.
Pardee said the Redskins had been interested in Thompson since the first rookie scrimmage against the Colts last month. "I certainly hope he can push somebody for a starting job," Pardee said. "From what we've seen, he looks as though he's as good as any of their receivers. He got caught in a numbers squeeze up there, too."
Thompson became expendable after Roger Carr returned to action earlier in training camp, apparently fully recovered from offseason knee surgery.
"I think the trade is the best thing that could have happened to me," Thompson said. "I'm coming somewhere where I'll have a chance to play. I rely on my speed more than anything. If I've got my legs, I feel like I'll be okay."
The acquisition of McCrary from Atlanta was in reaction to the physical condition of starting tight end Jean Fugett and backup Jim Mandich.
Fugett has a badly bruised left knee, will not play Friday night here against Atlant and may not recover completely in time for the season-opener Sept. 3. Mandich also is limping on a sprained ankle, leaving rookie Reggie Haynes the only healthy tight end in camp.
McCrary, listed at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, was the Falcons' fifth-round choice out of Clark in 1975. That season, he caught a 49-yard touchdown pass against the Vikings, but had been used primarily as a backup to all-pro tight end Jim Mitchell ever since.
Redskin center Ted Fritsch, who played with McCrary for several years in Atlanta, described him yesterday as "a hell of a worker and a guy who's got really good hands. He's also a damned good blocker and he's tough on their special teams. I think he can help us."
As expected, the Redskins placed running back Eddie Moss on the injured-reserve list. He will be lost for the year. Moss suffered a knee injury early in training camp . . .The cut of Mike Williams leaves only two of the Redskins' 1978 draft choices on the roster, sixth-round pick Tony Green and eighth-round choice Don Hover, a linebacker from Washington State . . .Defensive end Johnny Owens got news of his release from the team Sunday in a most unusual place . . .He was sitting in the whirlpool at the Dulles Marriott Hotel . . . when Dick Myers, assistant general manager, came by to give him the bad news. When he spotted Myers, Owens submerged his head in the water, but quickly came up. Being cut is a lot easier to taken than being drowned.