It was the first Crazy Tuesday of the season where we get to Redskin Park, watch guys come and go for tryouts, try to recognize who’s who, try to figure out the potential cuts and so forth and so on. Here’s an analysis of today’s moves.
Signing Shaun Alexander
An interesting move by both parties. Ladell Betts says his sprained LCL will keep him out about three weeks so what’s the point in signing Alexander for the Redskins? For the team, it’s a low-risk move. I’m guessing he’s getting a pro-rated veteran minimum salary and he won’t be counted on to carry it 25 times a game. From Alexander’s perspective, it’s interesting that he was interested. He probably thinks he can still be an every-down back so why not wait for another team to call? My guess is that Alexander is taking this opportunity has a 3-game audition … for the rest of the NFL. If Betts comes back healthy and the Redskins part ways with Alexander, then he will have at least some video for teams to look at. If the Redskins opt to keep Alexander when Betts returns, that could create some juicy drama, as will Rock Cartwright’s reaction to not getting a shot at the No. 2 job (again).
Signing Ryan Plackemeier, releasing Durant Brooks
This is a move that had to be made. Brooks was last in the NFL in net punting, was fighting an injury and clearly his confidence had been shaken. The Redskins aren’t going to get a 55-yard average from Plackemeier but what they do need is consistency. They’ve given up two touchdowns on punt returns this year.
Signing Mike Green
When it became known that Reed Doughty was going on IR, the Redskins desperately needed to add experience at that position. If Green is healthy, he could be a big help to second-year player LaRon Landry and rookies Chris Horton and Kareem Moore. Green has experience in Greg Blache’s system so I expect him to contribute pretty early.
Putting Reed Doughty on injured reserve
This was the surprise of the day. Doughty had missed only one game with a back injury but the Redskins deemed it serious enough that they put him on the IR, ending his season. Coach Jim Zorn said a nerve problem is causing numbness in Doughty’s foot and those injuries take time. Zorn even said that surgery down the road remains possible. It’s a tough end to a tough season for Doughty. He came into camp as the starter, entered Week 1 as the starter but then fell ill on the morning of Week 2 and saw Horton post three takeaways. Two weeks later, Horton was the new starting strong safety.
Releasing Justin Hamilton
As soon as Hamilton walked through the parking lot and into Redskin Park today, I — for once — correctly predicted that he would be the guy cut. Even he wasn’t shocked. He had been inactive for the last four games.