The Washington Redskins had a busy day of cuts Thursday, releasing seven players to clear cap space and reshuffle the roster.
Among the cuts was 38-year-old defensive end Phillip Daniels who had become a fan favorite over his six seasons with the team.
Daniels spent his offseason strength conditioning and was reportedly stronger and more motivated than ever heading into his 2011 campaign after finishing last season on injured reserve.
The 15-year veteran was kind and humbled in a statement posted in Twitter after he received news of his release.
"Thank you to the Redskins organization for (seven) great years," he wrote. "It’s tough to say goodbye when you have bled burgundy & gold for so many years. . . I want to keep playing football and proud of what I have accomplished as a Redskin."
Also released Thursday was fellow defensive lineman Ma’ake Kemoeatu who wasn't a true fit for Jim Haslett's 3-4 defensive scheme.
Kemoeatu appeared in 14 games with 12 starts and recorded 29 tackles in his only season with the team.
The 32-year-old also posted comments on Twitter, albeit of a much shorter variety than Daniels.
"Thank you redskin nation you guys been Great," he wrote.
To help fill the void the Redskins signed former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Stephen Bowen to a five-year, $27.5 million deal according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. His deal includes a $12.5 million signing bonus.
Bowen's addition comes 48 hours after the Redskins signed 6'6", 306-pound Barry Cofield away from the New York Giants.
Nose tackle Chris Neild, the team's seventh-round draft pick out of West Virginia, also signed a four-year, $2.1 million deal Thursday morning.
While the team is busy reshuffling the defensive line and stockpiling wide receivers, it should be noted Thursday's cuts have also left the Redskins without a punter for the time being.
Sam Paulescu was informed of his release just one day after the team bid farewell to Josh Bidwell.
Special teams coach Danny Smith was forced to play musical chairs with the position last season after Bidwell went down to injury in October.
Hunter Smith was brought on as a replacement, but was let go after he was unable to bring down a high snap from Nick Sundberg on a game-tying extra-point attempt against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in December. The Redskins lost the game by one, putting an end to their faint playoff hopes.
It was only the second mishandled long snap of Smith's 12-year career.
The team will bring in a new punter in short order with training camp scheduled to begin Friday. Camp opens to the public Saturday morning.
Offensively the team released center Casey Rabach, running backs Andrew Brown and Chad Simpson and wide receiver Roydell Williams.
Rabach was an anchor on the Redskins offensive line for the past six seasons where he started every game he appeared in.
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