Friday, March 5, 2010

The cuts

None of last night's cuts were outright shocking, but some of them were interesting and possible informative.

Rock Cartwright -The hardest one to take, in my opinion, but probably also the least surprising.  I tried - I really tried - to find a way he could fit into the backfield picture, but couldn't.  There's still a tiny chance he could be brought back as a special teamer at a massively reduced salary, but I wouldn't bet on it.  He was, bar none, my favorite Redskin.

Ladell Betts - If there was a decision to be made between Betts and Clinton Portis, it's been made.  I assume this means Portis is safe.  Like many of the guys on this list, cutting him was a reasonable move but he gave us many years of good service and deserves some respect on the way out of town.

Marcus Mason - Not too surprising as Quinton Ganther clearly showed himself to be the superior runner, and Mason is just as bad at pass protection.  So the backfield committee will be Portis, Ganther, and...? [EDIT: Woops - totally missed that Ganther was non-tendered.  So we're really starting from scratch beyond Portis.]

Cornelius Griffin - At his age he simply lacked the necessary stamina, and I couldn't see how he would fit in a 3-4.  This might also be a sign of confidence in Kedric Golston.  Remember that for a few years under Joe Gibbs Griffin was the core of the Redskins defense - it's time to go but he served the team well.

Randy Thomas - His diminished mobility made him unsuitable for a pure zone scheme.  So your interior linemen are, I think, set: Derrick Dockery, Casey Rabach, and Chad Rinehart; with Kory Lichtensteiger as the primary backup for all three.

Fred Smoot - After a terrible 2008, I had been pleasantly surprised by Smoot's performance early in the year.  I wrote about it, then he immediately got benched in favor of Justin Tryon.  Shows you what I know.  TORB gives Smoot a fitting send-off here.
Todd Collins - He was brought to the team because he could execute Al Saunders' offense.  I was surprised he lasted through both Jim Zorn years.

Antwaan Randle-El - He was brought in to fill two roles - punt returner and slot receiver.  There is no defense of his performance as a returner.  But his inadequacies as a receiver are mostly not his fault.  First Brandon Lloyd, then (for a year) Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly failed to adequately fill a starting wideout job and forced Randle-El to play in outside his ideal position.  He could have been a pretty nice slot receiver if we'd had the luxury of playing him there throughout his time with the Redskins.

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