ASHBURN — There were a few less players on the field at Redskins practice Sunday, as Saturday marked the deadline for leaguewide roster cuts. The locker room felt a bit roomier, now inhabited by the 53-man active roster plus the practice squad, instead of the group of 90 that crammed into the space during the preseason.
There will be more transactions. The practice squad is not yet full. The 2017 Redskins roster, though, has taken its general shape and, as of now, every pick in this year’s draft is still with the organization.
Nine of 10 picks made the 53-man active roster, with only rookie receiver Robert Davis getting cut ahead of Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline. Davis cleared waivers, however, and was signed to the practice squad with six others Sunday.
Washington chose just 23 players on the offensive side of the ball, making room for 27 selections on defense.
Some veterans, most notably safety Will Blackmon, didn’t make the team. Nose tackle Phil Taylor Sr., who tore his left quad in the third preseason game, was officially placed on injured reserve. Safety DeAngelo Hall was officially placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
Here’s a look at the final roster:
Quarterbacks (2): Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy
Cut: Nate Sudfeld
The Redskins opted to carry just two quarterbacks and cut third-stringer Sudfeld, who had his best performance of the preseason Thursday in four full quarters in Tampa Bay. The Redskins might have kept Sudfeld around on the practice squad, but Sudfeld opted to join the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad instead. Former general manager Scot McCloughan held Sudfeld in high regard. The new group in charge didn’t feel the same.
Running backs (4): Rob Kelley, Samaje Perine, Chris Thompson, Mack Brown
Cut: Matt Jones, Kenny Hilliard
The Redskins probably won’t have four running backs active for most games, but exposing Brown to waivers was too dangerous to stomach. Washington wasn’t able to find a trading partner to get a return for Jones, the former starter who fell out of favor. Jones’ tenure in Washington is now officially over. Like Sudfeld, he is someone McCloughan felt had a bright future in Washington. Jones was claimed by the Colts Sunday.
Wide receivers (5): Terrelle Pryor Sr., Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, Ryan Grant, Brian Quick
Cuts: Robert Davis, Maurice Harris, Matt Hazel, Levern Jacobs, Zach Pascal, James Quick, Jamari Staples
The Redskins likely feel they can carry some good receiver depth on the practice squad, having signed both Davis and Harris to it on Sunday. Most expected Washington to keep six at this position, but a sixth receiver would probably have been inactive most gamedays anyway and would struggle finding snaps, particularly as the Redskins involve their tight ends and running backs heavily in the passing game.
Tight ends (4): Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Niles Paul, Jeremy Sprinkle
Cut: Manasseh Garner, E.J. Bibbs
The Redskins opted to keep four tight ends after Paul and Sprinkle both impressed this offseason. Sprinkle, this year’s fifth-round pick, has valuable size at 6-foot-5 and Paul is a do-it-all player who can also function as Washington’s fullback. The Redskins also traded tight end Derek Carrier to the Los Angeles Rams Saturday, receiving a 2018 seventh-round draft pick in exchange. Garner was signed to the practice squad, as well.
Offensive linemen (8): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Chase Roullier, Tyler Catalina
Cut: Lucas Crowley, Kyle Kalis, John Kling, Arie Kouandjio, Kendall Pace, Vinston Painter, Ronald Patrick, Isaiah Williams
As expected, the Redskins waived 2015 fourth-round pick Kouandjio. Undrafted rookie Catalina beat out Kalis for the final backup offensive line spot, though Kalis could come back on the practice squad. Versatility likely played a big role there, as the Redskins believe Catalina is an option at both tackle and guard. In addition, the Redskins claimed tackle T.J. Clemmings, a former Minnesota Viking and talented prospect who hadn’t panned out in two years, off waivers. Clemmings was the corresponding move to placing safety Su’a Cravens, who is considering retirement, on the Exempt/Left Squad list. Kalis made the practice squad.
Defensive linemen (6): Jonathan Allen, Ziggy Hood, Anthony Lanier, Stacy McGee, Terrell McClain, Matt Ioannidis
Cut: Joey Mbu, A.J. Francis, Brandon Banks, Ondre Pipkins
Mbu was signed by the Colts Sunday, so it will be interesting to see if the Redskins can get Francis in one of their remaining practice squad spots. That would provide some depth at nose tackle in the organization, if not on the active roster. The Redskins signed McGee this offseason with the idea that he could play both nose and end, so they won’t just rely on Hood in the middle when they play in their 3-4. The Redskins signed Banks to the practice squad Sunday.
Linebackers (10): Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Junior Galette, Ryan Anderson, Chris Carter (outside), Zach Brown, Mason Foster, Will Compton, Martrell Spaight, Josh Harvey-Clemons (inside)
Cut: Lynden Trail, Zach Vigil, Nico Marley, Pete Robertson, Ron Thompson Jr.
Carter, Spaight and Harvey-Clemons were likely the last ones on here. Carter is a valuable player on special teams, but the veteran has shown that he can contribute as a backup on defense, too. Harvey-Clemons, the seventh-round draft pick who played at Louisville, is one of the more surprising players to make the roster. His size (6-foot-4) and athleticism could have made the Redskins fear he wouldn’t clear waivers, and a pick-six Thursday night may have sealed the deal. Robertson was signed to the practice squad. The Redskins said goodbye to Nico Marley, the 5-foot-8 linebacker grandson of reggae legend Bob Marley who impressed with his energy and instinct this offseason.
Corners (6): Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Kendall Fuller, Joshua Holsey
Cut: Tevin Homer, Jeremiah McKinnon
The Redskins have been enamored with sixth-round pick Holsey since his first day with the organization, and his playmaking in the preseason proved enough to convince the team to carry six cornerbacks.
Safeties (4): D.J. Swearinger, Deshazor Everett, Montae Nicholson, Stefan McClure
Cut: Will Blackmon, Fish Smithson
Exempt/Left Squad: Su’a Cravens
Some of the most surprising roster decisions came at safety. Blackmon, a well-respected locker room presence, didn’t make the team but McClure, who joined the team during training camp, did. Smithson was signed to the practice squad. Washington initially kept five safeties, but Cravens had the team shocked Sunday after he informed Redskins brass that he wants to retire from football. Washington is now scrambling to see if he will change his mind.
Kicker: Dustin Hopkins
Punter: Tress Way
Long-snapper: Nick Sundberg
No surprises there.
• Nora Princiotti can be reached at email@example.com.
Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Click to Read More and View Comments
Click to Hide
Please read our comment policy before commenting.