NFL Roster Cuts: 4 Moves the Washington Redskins Should Have Made
Mike Shanahan's two-year overhaul of the Washington Redskins roster continued on Sunday, after making his final cuts to 53 players.
Getting younger on both sides of the ball is essential to rebuilding. By keeping eight of his 12 2011 draft picks, Coach Shanahan is adding that youthful element to a Redskins franchise that seemed perpetually old.
But while several youngsters have much reason to celebrate, a handful of players were questionably given the same party invitation.
Let's take a look at a few unwanted guests and one who was unfortunately left out in the cold.
Cut Donte Stallworth, Wide Receiver
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If we can take away anything from the preseason, it's that Donte Stallworth still has some fuel left in the tank.
But the Redskins already have plenty of youth and depth at the wide receiver position, and the newly acquired 30-year-old should be the odd man out.
It's not that Stallworth cannot help the offense move the chains; he is a capable deep threat. But if his roster presence prevents the Redskins from adding much needed depth at offensive and defensive line, then he could hurt the team more than help it.
I'm also not convinced that his production couldn't come from other young receivers like Leonard Hankerson and Niles Paul. The kids need a chance to prove themselves, and in a rebuilding year, Stallworth is more of a road block than a stopgap.
The Redskins are going into Week 1 with eight wide receivers and hardly any depth in the trenches as a result. The fat needed to be trimmed from somewhere, and it should have started at wide receiver.
Retain Anthony Bryant, Nose Tackle
Not everyone suffered from the Albert Haynesworth saga.
Anthony Bryant emerged at the nose tackle position in the final weeks of the 2010 season, after Haynesworth's suspension and a disappointing effort from Ma'ake Kemoeatu.
Since then, the Redskins have addressed the position by adding veteran Barry Cofield and Chris Neild, a late-round draft pick from West Virginia. Unfortunately, there is no depth anymore behind these two players who will be implementing a new scheme.
Bryant provided knowledge of Jim Haslett's system and a hulking 360-pound goal-line presence to go with it. Now, with eight wide receivers and nine linebackers on the roster, the five-year veteran is an unfortunate casualty of the latest wave of cuts.
Cut Keyaron Fox, Inside Linebacker
We've seen encouraging things from Keyaron Fox this preseason and in recent years.
The seven-year veteran was the special teams captain of the Pittsburgh Steelers for the past two seasons, and he shined in his rare opportunities to start in one of the leagues' most talented linebacking units.
Fox made the Redskins' final 53, but it feels like it should have been another "odd man out" situation. The Redskins have eight other linebackers, including special teams ace, Lorenzo Alexander.
A team can never be too deep on special teams, but the new kickoff rules make them less valuable than previous seasons. At the expense of other positions, having two players best suited for special teams is a bit excessive.
Cut Mike Sellers, Tight End/Fullback
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Mike Sellers has provided Redskins fans with highlight-worthy blocks and catches for over a decade now. The problem is, that clock is ticking even faster with Mike Shanahan at the helm.
In Shanahan's first season, he acquired Darrel Young to succeed Sellers, and that time for him to do so has come. To remain with the team, Sellers is undergoing a transition to the tight end position but is buried behind Chris Cooley, Fred Davis and Logan Paulsen.
Cooley's health is in question, and that is likely the only reason Sellers was not cut. Despite that, Cooley will start Week 1, and if his knee improves, it could be bad news for the most famous man to ever come out of Walla Walla Community College.