- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Chris Chester, who started every game at right guard over the last four seasons, and Tracy Porter, an oft-injured backup cornerback, were each released by the Washington Redskins on Wednesday, the second day of the team’s organized team activities.

The two moves not only clear up salary cap space for the Redskins, but also make room for younger players on the roster. Chester’s release presumably allows Spencer Long, drafted in the third round last season, to move into a starting role, while that of Porter frees up a logjam at cornerback that was further complicated by the signing of Chris Culliver in March.

Chester, 32, started a total of 64 games for the Redskins after signing a five-year, $20 million contract prior to the 2011 season. Better in pass protection than as a run blocker, the 6-foot-3, 303-pound Chester did not appear to be an adequate fit at this stage in his career for the power-running scheme that Washington hopes to employ to a greater degree this coming season.

The timing of the move, though, was curious. Chester took every snap with the first-team offense during a two-hour team workout on Tuesday, when the next phase of the offseason program began. Set to account for $4.8 million against the salary cap in 2015, he had survived the Redskins‘ cost-cutting moves earlier this spring, when the team purged several defensive linemen to save money.

The 6-foot-5, 311-pound Long, drafted out of Nebraska, played in five games last season and took a total of 16 snaps on offense. Limited early in his first season after undergoing surgery for a torn MCL in his left knee, Long could be challenged for playing time by Josh LeRibeus and even right tackle Morgan Moses, who said Tuesday that he has not been approached by the coaching staff to move inside.

Porter, 28, played in just three games for the Redskins last season after signing a two-year, $6 million contract. He missed the first portion of the year after repeatedly straining his right hamstring before spraining the acromioclavicular joint in his right shoulder in a loss at San Francisco on Nov. 23.

SEE ALSO: Alfred Morris excited about Bill Callahan’s new power-running scheme

The Redskins‘ signing of Culliver, formerly with the 49ers, plus the returns of DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson and Bashaud Breeland made Porter expendable. Hall, who is recovering from a torn left Achilles tendon, is the presumptive starter alongside Culliver; Breeland took snaps with the first-team defense on Tuesday.

Coach Jay Gruden said Porter was not in attendance for the Redskins‘ workout on Tuesday because he missed a flight. A seven-year veteran, Porter has only played in all 16 games once in his career.

Porter was set to account for $3,328,175 against the salary cap this season, and the Redskins will save approximately $2 million by releasing him. Chester, meanwhile, will net the Redskins $4 million in savings, as he had only $800,000 remaining in guaranteed money.

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