“I’m very sentimental,” Way said. “It was the first time in my professional career that I felt wanted. A team reached out, claimed me off the waiver wire. It was almost my version of getting drafted. . . . I just felt great. It was so cool. And that feeling has never left. . . . I’ve just always felt wanted, and I really, really appreciate that. I would love to be a career Redskins guy. I hope that I can continue to play well enough to convince them of that.”
Way, who originally signed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma, has been one of the best players on the Redskins the last two seasons, regardless of position. With an offense that has struggled since Alex Smith broke his leg in 2018, Way has kept the Redskins in games by flipping the field and enabling them to play the field-position game. His 29 punts inside the 20-yard line are tied for sixth in the league this season, and his 41 were an NFL high in 2018.
Rams punter Johnny Hekker is signed to a league-high $18.75 million deal, followed by the Ravens’ Sam Koch ($16.25 million) and the Saints’ Thomas Morstead ($15.6 million).
“One of the best punters in the National Football League,” Redskins interim coach Bill Callahan said. “To have that dynamic to shift and tilt the field and create field position for your team, it’s unquestioned what he’s done and what he’s accomplished. He’s done tremendous things for our team this year.”
The Redskins’ season will end after a road trip to Dallas on Sunday; the players have exit interviews Monday morning, and most will be leaving the Washington area by the afternoon. Way will drive 19 hours to Oklahoma with his two Labradors to meet up with his wife and kids, who have already made the trip.
“I am very much looking forward to a cherry Coke and some flaming hot Cheetos,” Way said with a laugh. “That spicy chicken sandwich from Popeyes that I have not tried yet. But this long drive I get to eat what I want to eat. I get to stop when I want to stop. I get to listen to what I want to listen to. So that is just going to be 19 hours of celebration.”
The Redskins placed two more starters on injured reserve Friday to bring the season’s number up 23. Safety Montae Nicholson (neck, ankle) and Fabian Moreau (hamstring) were both moved to IR, decimating the secondary for the season finale against the Cowboys. Cornerbacks Quinton Dunbar, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Jimmy Moreland, Greg Stroman, Danny Johnson and safety Deshazor Everett are already on IR.
Safety Landon Collins (shoulder) also has been ruled out, and cornerback Josh Norman is questionable with an illness. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins (ankle) and wide receiver Terry McLaurin (concussion) are also out.
Safety Troy Apke (knee) and tackle Morgan Moses (knee) are listed as questionable.
The team signed safety Kenny Ladler and promoted wide receiver Jester Weah from the practice squad.
Linebacker Joe Thomas (knee) was ruled out for the Cowboys, while cornerback Byron Jones (ankle), defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (hip, ankle) and tackle Tyron Smith (back) are listed as questionable.