- Running back Willie Parker was one of 22 players the Redskins parted ways with on Saturday. (Photo: Associated Press)
Reducing their roster to the NFL mandated 53-player regular season limit, the Washington Redskins parted ways with 22 players, the biggest name being that of running back Willie Parker.
Parker was the odd man out in a crowded backfield that featured two other big-name backs, Clinton Portis and Larry Johnson. And Keiland Williams -- an undrafted rookie out of LSU -- during training camp and the preseason proved more productive and versatile to squeeze the 29-year-old Parker out of a job.
Although Parker was the prominant player released by the Redskins, his departure doesn't come as much of a surprise as he entered training camp third on the depth chart, and then saw Williams and second-year back Ryan Torain overtake him in the preseason. Also hurting Parker, who in the preseason rushed for 50 yards on 16 carries, was the fact that he doesn't play special teams, and struggled in pass protection. Williams, meanwhile, was able to contribute in both of those areas.
Here's the complete position-by-position look at the players the Redskins parted ways with today, and the players they kept
Cut: Richard Bartel
Kept: Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman, John Beck
Analysis: This came as little surprise given that the Redskins gave Beck a two-year extension roughly a week ago. Bartel didn't do terribly in camp and the preseason, but Mike and Kyle Shanahan have liked Beck for a while, and obviously believe he has more potential. Taking three quarterbacks (something Shanahan rarely has done in the past) makes sense given that McNabb is 33 and hasn't played a full season in the last four years.
Cut: Willie Parker, Ryan Torain
Kept: Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson, Keiland Williams
Analysis: Parker's release was expected as he never seemed comfortable in this offense, and wasn't versatile enough to keep around. Torain showed promise, but has battled injuies in the past. However, he is expected to make the practice squad if he clears waivers. Portis and Johnson should complement each other well, and Williams looks like he can contribute both on special teams and as a third-down back.
Cut: Carey Davis
Kept: Mike Sellers, Darrel Young
Analysis: Sellers was having a strong training camp and preseason and it looks like he will be his usual productive self as a lead blocker and pass-catcher. He said that he also has been told he will be used as a tight end at times. Young, a converted linebacker, is more affordable than Davis, and has shown good potential.
Cut: Lee Vickers
Kept: Chris Cooley, Fred Davis, Logan Paulsen
Analysis: With Cooley and Davis, the Redskins are set with a pretty dynamic duo. Paulsen, who also makes the squad, is a pretty decent pass catcher as well, but needs some work in the blocking department
Cut: Terrence Austin, Shay Hodge
Kept: Santana Moss, Joey Galloway, Anthony Armstrong, Devin Thomas, Brandon Banks, Roydell Williams
Analysis: Moss, Galloway and Armstrong were locks, and Thomas was on good footing after Thursday's four-catch, 34-yard performance (as well as four kick returns for a 27-yard average). Banks over Austin is a little surprising. Austin (10 catches for 146 yards, one TD) is further along in his development as a receiver, but Banks' electrifying speed is something that's hard to find. Austin has a good chance to remain with the team as a practice squad player. Williams is a veteran, but has battled injuries. He has also learned to play special teams this preseason.
Cut: Will Robinson, Selvish Capers, Erik Cook, Chad Rinehart, Clint Oldenburg.
Kept: Casey Rabach, Artis Hicks, Derrick Dockery, Jammal Brown, Trent Williams, Stephon Heyer, Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery
Analysis: The starters are all solid, but the depth is suspect, so the Redskins could make an addition or two if they like someone on the waiver wire. Capers has potential, but needs work, so remaining on the practice squad is a plus for him.
Cut: Darrion Scott, Howard Green
Kept: Adam Carriker, Ma'ake Kemoeatu, Kedric Golston, Albert Haynesworth, Phillip Daniels, Anthony Bryant, Vonnie Holliday, Jeremy Jarmon.
Analysis: Jarmon was on the bubble, but most likely remains on the team because the second-year player has made great strides in working his way back from ACL surgery and has great potential. This is a big, physical, and versatile line with all but Kemoeatu having the ability to play multiple positions.
Cut: Rob Jackson, Robert Henson, Curtis Gatewood
Kept: London Fletcher, Rocky McIntosh, Andre Carter, Brian Orakpo, Lorenzo Alexander, Chris Wilson, H.B. Blades, Perry Riley
Analysis: Sad injury waiver for Robert Henson, who was having a great game Thursday night before going down with a knee injury that required surgery. Jackson likely will wind up on the practice squad. The Redskins are solid in the middle in terms of starters (Fletcher and McIntosh) and backups (Blades, Riley), and Orakpo is a stud. The outside linebacker spot opposite him features two guys (Carter, Alexander) still learning, but making good progress. Wilson is coming off of a strong preseason.
Cut: Ramzee Robinson; traded: Justin Tryon
Kept: DeAngelo Hall, Carlos Rogers, Phillip Buchanon, Kevin Barnes, Byron Westbrook.
Analysis: Robinson had a good camp and preseason, and Tryon finished off on a good note. But Barnes was better than both, and Westbrook, despite struggling in some coverages, stands out because of his special teams play. The addition of Buchanon gives Washington an upgrade at nickel cornerback, a role Tryon played last year, and Hall and Rogers both had strong camps and preseasons.
Cut: Tyrone Carter, Anderson Russell
Kept: LaRon Landry, Reed Doughty, Chris Horton, Kareem Moore
Analysis: Moore is still out for another three to five weeks, so the team will open the season with only three safeties. Landry will start at free safety, and the biggest positive about both Doughty and Moore is their ability to play both safety positions.
Kept: K Graham Gano, P Josh Bidwell, LS Nick Sundberg
Analysis: Gano and Bidwell had no competition in camp, and both have been solid. Sundberg held off James Dearth (cut earlier this week) to win the long-snapper job.
Closing thoughts: The main question marks are offensive line and receiver. Do the Redskins have enough to get it done there? Both positions could be addressed through waivers, as several notable names have hit the wire. The draft did not serve the Redskins well this year, as they have only two of their six picks still on the team. Now, Mike Shanahan has said "the worst thing you can do is keep a guy on the team because you drafted him," so obviously, if a draft pick isn't on this roster, it's because he couldn't deliver. That's fine. But the purpose of the draft is to build for the future, and the Redskins don't have many building blocks left from the 2010 draft.