Jason Hatcher Cut by Redskins: Latest Comments and Reaction

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2016

Washington Redskins' Jason Hatcher (97) sits on the bench late in the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. The Panthers won 44-16. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
Bob Leverone/Associated Press

After spending two years in Washington, Jason Hatcher was released by the Redskins on Monday.

Mike Jones of the Washington Post first reported the move, and Rand Getlin of NFL.com confirmed Jones' report. Jones noted the move will save Washington $4.2 million.  

The Redskins have since confirmed Hatcher's release.

Prior to the move, Hatcher alluded to the end of his time with the Redskins on Instagram:

In 147 regular-season games with the Redskins and Dallas Cowboys, the 33-year-old has recorded 250 combined tackles and 34.5 sacks. He also tallied one interception and five forced fumbles.

In Hatcher's post, he alluded to finding a new home despite discussing retirement as an option after Washington's defeat to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Wild Card Round. CSN Mid-Atlantic's Tarik El-Bashir shared a photo of Hatcher gathering his belongings with a contemplative caption:

"I've been thinking lately about this being my last year, you know, retiring," he said, per Rich Tandler of CSN Mid-Atlantic. "One thing I've got to pray about. [General manager Scot McCloughan] said he wanted me around."

Hatcher was a late bloomer. His first start for the Cowboys didn't come until his age-28 season, and only four of his final 72 appearances weren't in a starting capacity for his team. During his age-31 season, Hatcher made the only Pro Bowl of his playing career.

He immediately became a key figure for Washington after signing a four-year deal with the team worth $27.5 million. His presence made life easier for linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, who recorded a career-high 13.5 sacks in 2014—Hatcher's first season in the nation's capital.

The Redskins will now have to worry about finding a replacement for Hatcher. The timing couldn't be much worse, either, since defensive tackle Terrance Knighton is hitting free agency. Retaining Knighton might take priority, thus tying the front office's hands in filling the void left by Hatcher.

Should Washington lose both Hatcher and Knighton, the defensive line would be in rough shape heading into the 2016 season. The franchise isn't exactly flush with cap space, as noted by Spotrac, especially when you consider quarterback Kirk Cousins was hit with the franchise tag as both sides try to reach a long-term deal.