Stay up to date on all of the Redskins’ roster moves as Washington trims its player pool from 90 to 53 with a 10-man practice squad. Refresh the page throughout the day for the latest news and analysis on any surprising decisions.
Harris, who was on the active roster at the end of last season, missed much of training camp and the preseason with a knee injury. He caught three passes for 43 yards in the preseason finale, and the second-year product out of California could start the season on the practice squad again if he clears waivers.
Mbu, in his third NFL season, was on the bubble heading into Thursday’s contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There was an interior roster spot that opened up after Phil Taylor Sr. was placed on injury reserved with a quad injury. Mbu has made noticeable progress since he signed to Washington’s practice squad last October, but it wasn’t enough for a 53-man roster spot.
Mbu had worked hard, but was told this week team felt like he needed to get a little stronger to be consistently effective. Psquad candidate— Mike Jones (@ByMikeJones) September 2, 2017
The Redskins will also look to retain Crowley as a practice squad player if he clears waivers. They currently have just one healthy center, rookie Chase Roullier, as Spencer Long continues to recover from arthroscopic knee surgery.
Redskins to go with just two quarterbacks
The Redskins also have released third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld and plan to go with only two on the 53-man roster. Washington told Sudfeld they hope to bring him back on the practice squad if he clears waivers.
Sudfeld was a sixth-round pick out of Indiana in 2016 and made the 53-man roster as a rookie despite still having quite a bit of developing to do. Then-general manager Scot McCloughan was a strong proponent. Sudfeld had an uneven training camp and preseason this year, but had displayed improvement in his command of the offense.
However, needs at other positions prompted the Redskins to go with just Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy while carrying other position players that have a better chance of helping out on game days, considering the third quarterback never dresses. It’s believed that wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. would serve as the emergency quarterback.
Redskins finally part with Matt Jones
The Redskins have finally ended running back Matt Jones’s tenure a year after handing him the starting job.
Jones lost his job halfway through last season after failing to cure his fumbling woes. Rob Kelley replaced him in the lineup, and team officials entered the offseason with plans to stick with Kelley as the starter; they also used a fourth-round pick on Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine.
Jones decided to skip all of the voluntary practices, but then reported for the voluntary minicamp. Throughout training camp and the preseason, Jones remained buried on the depth chart behind Kelley, Chris Thompson, Perine and Mack Brown.
The Redskins once had high hopes for Jones after McCloughan took him in the third round out of Florida in 2015 and compared him to Marshawn Lynch. But Jones, despite his size (6-foot-2, 234 pounds), never consistently ran with the same kind of power and frequently struggled with ball security.
Tight end Derek Carrier traded to Rams
The Redskins engaged in trade talks with two teams and ultimately decided to send tight end Derek Carrier to the Los Angeles Rams for a 2018 seventh-round pick, two people with knowledge of the situation said.
That leaves the Redskins with four tight ends: Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Niles Paul and rookie Jeremy Sprinkle. Carrier spent the last two seasons with Washington after the team acquired him from San Francisco for a fifth-round pick in the preseason of 2015. He recorded 17 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown in 2015. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament late in the year and missed half of the 2016 season before recording two catches for 10 yards while serving primarily as a backup to Reed and Davis.
Carrier had a good preseason with three catches for 25 yards, but Washington had little need for him thanks to the healthy return of Paul from shoulder surgery (Paul also plays fullback), and the emergence of Sprinkle, a fifth-round pick out of Arkansas.
Carrier reunites with Sean McVay, now the Rams’ head coach, who served as Washington’s offensive coordinator the last three seasons.
McClure, Harvey-Clemons make roster
In the surprise moves of the day, seventh-round pick Josh Harvey-Clemons and first-year pro Stefan McClure have made the 53-man roster according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Harvey-Clemons made the team as the fifth inside linebacker as he beat out Nico Marley for the spot. It seemed unlikely that the Redskins would carry five inside linebackers (starters Mason Foster and Zach Brown, backups Will Compton and Martrell Spaight and Harvey-Clemons as well), but one person familiar with the team’s deliberations said there were some concerns that Harvey-Clemons might get claimed on waivers and that Washington wouldn’t have the chance to bring him back to the practice squad.
Harvey-Clemons is a 6-foot-4, 226-pound former safety. He played at Georgia, but was dismissed for disciplinary reasons and then concluded his college career at Louisville. The Redskins have played him as a linebacker, particularly in pass-coverage situations. He had a relatively quiet preseason but recorded an interception, which he returned for a touchdown on Thursday. For the preseason, Harvey-Clemons had 15 tackles and the interception.
The addition of McClure to the 53-man roster also came as a surprise. Undrafted out of Cal, the 5-11, 205-pounder spent last season on the Colts’ practice squad and then signed with Washington in July. He had a solid preseason, recording 11 tackles while playing well in coverage and on special teams. But with D.J. Swearinger, Su’a Cravens, Deshazor Everett and Montae Nicholson also on the roster, it seemed unlikely that Washington would take a fifth safety. However, Cravens is still recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, and Washington does need key special teams contributors. So, McClure made the cut.
Redskins release Will Blackmon in first round of cuts Friday
As they began to cut their roster from 90 players to the regular season limit of 53, the Washington Redskins released veteran defensive back Will Blackmon.
Blackmon spent the past two seasons with the Redskins, serving as nickelback in 2015 and then a backup safety in 2016.
In 30 games (16 starts), Blackmon recorded three interceptions, 12 passes defended, four forced fumbles, 1.5 sacks and 90 combined tackles. He also contributed on special teams, but the Redskins seem intent on going with a youth movement at safety.
Other than fifth-year veteran D.J. Swearinger and third-year pro Deshazor Everett, the Redskins don’t have any experienced safeties on the roster. DeAngelo Hall, entering his 14th season, will begin the season on the physically unable to perform list as he rehabs from knee surgery.
Projected starting strong safety Su’a Cravens is entering his second season, but he played linebacker last year, and the other top prospect on the roster is fourth-round pick Montae Nicholson, a rookie out of Michigan State.
Hall agreed to a restructured contract Friday, which reduced his salary to $1.1 million. That base salary is fully guaranteed, and the deal includes incentives. Hall, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament last season and missed all but three games, originally was due a non-guaranteed salary of $4.25 million for 2017. But in June, he agreed to a restructured figure of $2.3 million. Redskins officials and coaches have repeatedly expressed a desire to keep Hall — one of the most well-respected locker room leaders — in the mix despite three straight injury plagued seasons.
The Redskins also released outside linebacker Lynden Trail. The Norfolk State product, who spent last season on Washington’s practice squad, had a good preseason but found himself at a crowded position. He could wind up back on the practice squad.
Will Blackmon, defensive back
Kenny Hilliard, running back
Tevin Homer, cornerback
Jeremiah McKinnon, defensive back
Ondre Pipkins, defensive lineman
Lynden Trail, linebacker
Isaiah Williams, offensive lineman
James Quick, wide receiver
Kendall Pace, offensive lineman
John Kling, offensive lineman
Maurice Harris, wide receiver
Joey Mbu, defensive lineman
Kyle Kalis, offensive lineman
Lucas Crowley, center
Fish Smithson, safety
Pete Robertson, linebacker
Zach Vigil, linebacker
Ron Thompson Jr., linebacker
Brandon Banks, defensive lineman
Zach Pascal, wide receiver
Ronald Patrick, center
Nate Sudfeld, quarterback
A.J. Francis, defensive lineman
Matt Jones, running back
Matt Hazel, wide receiver
Robert Davis, wide reciever
Nico Marley, linebacker
Arie Kouandjio, offensive line
E.J. Bibbs, tight end
Levern Jacobs, wide receiver
Vinston Painter, offensive line
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