It is almost inevitable; it’s the time of year when a cast of standout athletes will see their NFL dreams come to a halt with a phone call from their head coaches, telling them that they’ve been cut.
In fact, a number of standouts on the Washington Redskins roster got hit pretty hard with that reality check on Saturday. TE Ted Bolser, S Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith, WR Lee Doss, OL Kevin Kowalski, P Robert Malone, OL Tevita Stevens and NT Robert Thomas were already cut loose on Friday, while Arkansas marksman Zach Hocker, RB Evan Royster, RB Lache Seastrunk and S Phillip Thomas were also advised that the Redskins would no longer be needing their services.
Those particular cuts come as something of an unsettling surprise. Washington decided to retain veteran place kicker Kai Forbath despite the glaring inconsistency that plagued his preseason. The club kept questionable back Silas Redd and instead cut third-year pro Royster and the explosive Seastrunk. Yet, even more questionable was head coach Jay Gruden‘s decision to show CB Richard Crawford and Thomas the door. Both defensive backs had flashed promise and poise during the preseason, and seemingly had a place a roster that remains in urgent need of youth, intelligence, athleticism and depth in the secondary.
Washington shredded its roster to be in full compliance with NFL regulations, but in doing so, Gruden and his staff really rolled the dice, parting ways with a cast of invaluable defensive talent that may not be available through unclaimed waivers.
You have to start somewhere with personnel evaluations and roster cuts, but Gruden may have committed a costly error by waiving two forces in Washington’s defensive backfield. When in doubt about roster cuts in the secondary, he would have done well to cut ties with defensive backs E.J. Biggers and DeAngelo Hall, both of whom proved to be chronic liabilities in last season’s incompetent secondary.