Biggest Snubs and Surprises from Washington Redskins' Roster Cuts

Marcel DavisCorrespondent IAugust 31, 2014

Biggest Snubs and Surprises from Washington Redskins' Roster Cuts

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Their schedule and offseason acquisitions have long been official. And now the same can be said about the Washington Redskins' 2014 roster.

    A veteran-laden team, the formation of Washington's initial 53-man roster didn't feature the ouster of any big names.

    Still, whether it was because of the draft picks or signing bonuses the team invested, the process had its share of controversy.

    Here are the biggest surprises and snubs of the Redskins' roster cuts.

Akeem Davis/Trenton Robinson

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    With Brandon Meriweather's suspension and Phillip Thomas' recurring injury problems, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden needs little justification for having a Trenton Robinson or Akeem Davis on his 53-man roster:

    #Redskins have Ryan Clark, Bacarri Rambo, Trenton Robinson and Akeem Davis as their safeties w/ Brandon Meriweather suspended 2 games

    — Brian McNally (@bmcnally14) August 30, 2014

    But both of them? Now, that's another matter.

    Upon his return from a two-game ban, Meriweather will count against the team's 53-man roster. One of the team's thinnest positions, the move to open a spot for Meriweather will likely involve one of these two safeties.

    Hence the question, why did Washington delay the inevitable?

    With E.J. Biggers versatile enough to see snaps at both cornerback and safety, in addition to the team facing Chad Henne and Ryan Fitzpatrick the first two games, the Redskins could have made do without keeping both Davis and Robinson.

    As valuable as Davis and Robinson are on special teams, with the tight-knit battles the team had at various other positions—running back, anyone?—Washington could've made better use of Meriweather's vacated roster spot.

Chris Thompson

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    Brian Blanco/Associated Press

    While it doesn't register as a snub, Chris Thompson's ouster was quite surprising.

    With Alfred Morris' shortcomings in the passing game and Roy Helu lacking game-changing speed, one would think that Thompson would be a good fit as the team's third-down back.

    Praised by Redskins coaches for his speed, elusiveness and pass-catching ability, according to Mike Jones of The Washington PostThompson fit the mold of the "specialty-type third-down guy" that Gruden was looking for, via ESPN.com's John Keim.

    Durability concerns are likely the root cause for Thompson's exit. In an interview with Jones, Gruden expressed frustration over Thompson's inability to stay on the field, per Jones.

    "But injuries happen, and unfortunately, for him, it seems like more often than not. He’s got to figure out how to stay healthy,” he said.

    Even with that said, Silas Redd—the third and final running back added to the roster—will likely see the same amount of playing time that an injured Thompson would have.

    A bruising runner who doesn't fit Gruden's mold of a third-down back, Redd doesn't complement Morris and Helu. More so, his presence on the roster is Washington hedging its bet against an injury to Morris—the Evan Royster role, if you will.

    Ultimately, while the inherent risk of injury was there, the dimension Thompson could've brought to Washington's offense would've made it a gamble worth taking.

Lache Seastrunk

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    Brian Blanco/Associated Press

    Consistently the last back to enter Washington's preseason games, rookie Lache Seastrunk not making the 53-man roster just follows the script.

    In light of this fact though, you can't help but feel that Seastrunk never had an opportunity to earn a roster spot.

    While a player's performance in practice can't be excluded, and Seastrunk's had his mishaps, the lack of contact in practices makes games the showcase audition for running backs.

    And when Seastrunk played, he was successful. He tallied 121 yards rushing and 88 receiving yards in three games. Touting an average of 5.3 yards per carry, along with an 80-yard touchdown reception, Seastrunk's speed and big-play potential was evident.

    So, what's the deal?

    Why not see if Seastrunk can carry this success over against opponents' second-team units? Redd and Thompson got that opportunity. The same goes for Royster, and for what? Entering his fourth season, it's not as if he's an unknown commodity.

    Presented with an either-or decision on Seastrunk and Thompson, Seastrunk's ouster makes sense. Seastrunk struggled in pass protection, as most rookies do, and he lacks experience as a receiver. Put him against Redd, though, and the same can't be said.

    Even if it was sparingly, Seastrunk's speed would have commanded playing time. On the goal line, third down, even as an injury replacement for Morris, Redd's name won't be the first one called.

    Regardless of the faults in Seastrunk's game, the Redskins selected him in the sixth round knowing them full well. Given the lack of opportunity he was presented, you can't help but feel that he was a wasted pick.

Zach Hocker

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    STEVE NESIUS/Associated Press

    Locked in a tight-knit competition with incumbent Kai Forbath, rookie Zach Hocker ended a strong preseason on a sour note. On his lone attempt against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Hocker missed a 39-yard field goal.

    Nonetheless, looking at his performance throughout the preseason, you can't say that Forbath outperformed Hocker. Forbath made three of four attempts, while Hocker went 2-of-3.

    Examining their performance on kickoffs, Hocker actually had the leg up. A problem for him last season, Forbath registered just one touchback on eight kickoffs this preseason. As for Hocker, he had three touchbacks in nine attempts.

    All told, Hocker's strong leg would've played well on longer field goals and also aided Gruden in his efforts to improve kick coverage.

    Add in the fact that the team invested a seventh-round pick on Hocker, a rarity for a kicker, and it's surprising that Gruden elected to go with Forbath when the competition was relatively even.

Akeem Jordan

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    Brought on to potentially replace London Fletcher, Akeem Jordan never challenged for the starting gig. From the outset of OTAs, Keenan Robinson has had the reins of that job.

    Best suited to be a two-down playerhe struggles in coverageexperience appears to be the main reason Jordan garnered a roster spot. Both Adam Hayward and Will Compton lack viable reps at the inside linebacker position.

    Still, how can Jordan's experience outweigh his own injury concerns? In the preseason finale, Jordan suffered a knee injury:

    Was told LB Akeem Jordan is week to week with a sprained MCL suffered Thursday. Will be interesting to see how that factors into decision.

    — Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) August 30, 2014

    With Washington placing Darryl Sharpton on injured reserve, the team didn't have many internal options to fill its need at inside linebacker. Regardless, keeping an injured Jordan over a litany of other qualified players isn't the best use of a roster spot.

     

    All roster moves regarding the team's 53-man roster are courtesy of Redskins.com.