The Washington Football Team released 27 players over the last two days to meet the league-mandated 53-man roster by Tuesday afternoon.
For the most part, there were no surprises. On Monday, Washington released 10 players, none of which were a surprise. However, on Tuesday, the Football Team released five players who were a bit of a surprise.
The bigger surprises may be Washington keeping just four linebackers on the initial 53-man roster than the actual players released.
Here are five players whose releases could be considered the most surprising on Tuesday.
Washington Football Team cornerback Jimmy Moreland (20) acknowledges the crowd during an NFL football practice at FedEx Field, Friday, Aug. 6, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Jimmy Moreland was Washington’s most surprising cut on Tuesday. One of Washington’s top three corners last season, Moreland had moved down on the depth chart this season because of additions of William Jackson III and Benjamin St-Juste. Sure, he wasn’t a standout on special teams, but don’t let anyone tell you they weren’t a bit surprised when Moreland was released. He can play and should be on a roster by Wednesday.
Washington Football Team wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden (11) prepares to stiff-arm Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Darius Phillips (23) during the second half of a preseason NFL football game Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
This one wasn’t a shocker but is a bit surprising considering the momentum Gandy-Golden had built over a strong training camp and preseason. He was really good in Washington’s last two games. Gandy-Golden has struggled to separate in the past but has outstanding physical traits. Washington would love to add him back to the practice squad, but there is a good chance another NFL team claims him.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – JANUARY 03: Strong safety Kamren Curl #31 of the Washington Football Team celebrates with defensive end Chase Young #99, defensive back Jeremy Reaves #39, and linebacker Khaleke Hudson #47 after an interception during the first quarter of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 03, 2021, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Reaves has bounced between Washington’s practice squad and active roster since 2018. He showed real growth at safety last season and is a player the coaches like. Unfortunately for Reaves, there is depth at safety. Darrick Forrest was a fifth-round pick in 2021, so his spot was safe. Don’t be surprised if Reaves is back in Washington soon. But, there’s a chance he’s claimed. He could add safety depth to several NFL teams.
Aug 28, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Kyle Allen (8) hands off to running back Peyton Barber (25) against the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Was I surprised? Not really. I had gone back and forth with Barber being on and off the roster. Antonio Gibson is Washington’s premier back, so he needs to be able to get one yard when Washington needs it. There’s nothing special about Barber as a runner. He should go unclaimed, so don’t be surprised if he lands on the practice squad.
LB David Mayo
Nov 24, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Giants outside linebacker David Mayo (55) takes the field before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Washington kept four linebackers which was a major surprise. I had long figured Mayo to be the team’s fifth linebacker with his deep ties to Ron Rivera. He is terrific on specials and is adequate as a backup linebacker. Expect Washington to be active on the waiver wire.