Schmitt hits the trail, Hamilton back

Rich TandlerSenior Analyst IAugust 7, 2008

Fullback Pete Schmitt, just resigned by the Redskins on Monday, has decided to pack it in.

He talked to Jim Zorn after practice and said simply that pro football wasn't for him.

Schmitt's "retirement" (Corey Masisak at the Times in wondering if he will change his mind and then orchestrate a trade) put the Redskins back to square one when it comes to the fullback position. They have established starter Mike Sellers and Nehemiah Broughton, a 2005 draft pick still looking to make a mark. They may try to sign another fullback after Saturday's game.

Apparently not having a fulllback's number in their Outlook Contacts (does anyone use a Rolodex anymore?), the Redskins filled Schmitt's roster spot with a player whose position appears to be pretty well set—safety.

Justin Hamilton was signed on May 31 and, after failing to impress during OTA's, released a couple of weeks later. He's now back, signed on Thursday morning.

It may be too little, too late for Hamilton, a former sixth-round pick of the Cleveland Browns. Rookie safeties Chris Horton and Kareem Moore have impressed in practice and, in Horton's case, during last Sunday's preseason game. Veteran Vernon Fox provides experienced backup to starters Reed Doughty and LaRon Landry. There may not be much opportunity for Hamilton to have a shot at making it.

But that really doesn't matter to Hamilton, who is hanging on to his football life. In 2007, he did not play and he's already been cut once this year.

He is familiar enough with the defense to get a chance to play some on Saturday night against the Bills. And a chance to play is a chance to get on film. And that chance gives him a chance of being seen by other teams who may be looking for a safety. And that gives him a chance of getting a phone call to come in for a tryout when a safety somewhere around the league goes down to injury.

Chances are, he won't make it. But he still has a chance.

Join me for a live blog of Saturday's preseason game. Go here for details.