The Redskins traded Kevin Barnes to the Detroit Lions on Monday, the veteran cornerback confirmed in a phone conversation.
Washington initially informed Barnes he was being released, but Detroit consummated a deal. What the Redskins received in return is not known at this time.
“I’m excited to get another shot to succeed for an up-and-coming young team,” Barnes said. “I’m just happy they wanted me.”
The Redskins last season soured on Barnes, who was drafted in the third round in 2009 by the previous regime led by front office chief Vinny Cerrato. The team abandoned using Barnes as a slot cornerback this offseason, the first sign he had fallen out of favor.
The Redskins signed veteran cornerback Cedric Griffin in the offseason, and seventh-round rookie Richard Crawford has impressed during training camp and the preseason.
Asked what the Redskins told him about their motives in parting with him, Barnes said: “”Basically, I guess it was more of a special teams move.”
Crawford played as the fourth cornerback late in the first half against Indianapolis on Saturday. Terrapins alum Josh Wilson and DeAngelo Hall are Washington’s top two cornerbacks. Hall replaced Barnes as the slot corner, with Griffin playing the outside in multi-receiver sets.
Barnes spent parts of the past three season with the Redskins, starting three of the 29 games he appeared in. He had two interceptions and 26 tackles in 2011.
Veteran David Jones and second-year seventh-round pick Brandyn Thompson are the top competitors for any remaining cornerback roster spots.
The Redskins had to cut their roster to 75 players by later Monday afternoon. Kicker Neil Rackers, receiver Lance Lewis and cornerback Morgan Trent are among the reductions.