The Redskins made some surprising decisions on Sunday when releasing the 22 players required to meet the NFL’s regular season requirement of a 53 player roster. Veterans Regan Upshaw and Fred Baxter were among the players released as coach Joe Gibbs rounded out his first NFL regular season roster in 12 years.
Upshaw, the 9-year veteran defensive end, was signed as an unrestricted free agent last March to help out the defensive line. He appeared in all 16 games in 2003 but was not able to beat out Ron Warner or Demetric Evans for a roster spot on the defensive line this preseason.
Baxter is a 12-year veteran who was signed this offseason to add depth and experience at the tight end position.
Also released was 3rd year cornerback Rashad Bauman. He was the 1st of the team’s two 3rd round picks in the 2002 NFL Draft.
Other notable cuts were quarterback Gibran Hamdan and offensive lineman Marcus Spriggs.
Hamdan, a Bishop O’Connell High School product, was drafted by the Redskins in the 7th round in 2003 out of Indiana. He saw very limited action at the end of his rookie season but did not take any snaps during the 2004 preseason after spending this spring playing in NFL Europe.
Spriggs was signed as a free agent several weeks ago and had seen some action at tackle for the Redskins.
Rounding out the cuts were defensive tackle Cedric Killings, wide receivers Sean Dillard, Dameane Douglas, and Jafar Williams, offensive linemen Bill Ferrario and Daryl Terrell, defensive end Darrell Wright, kicker Ola Kimrin, tight end Leonard Stephens, linebacker Chris Clemons (injury settlement).
The team also placed running back John Simon on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.
After the cuts were made, several players changed jersey numbers:
Safety Ryan Clark switched his jersey #39 to Rashad Bauman’s #25.
Safety Dennard Wilson will take over Clark’s former #39.
Since signing with the team in August, offensive lineman Ray Brown has been wearing #72 but will now take over Daryl Terrell’s #67 (the jersey number Brown wore during his first stint with the Redskins).
With Bill Ferrario’s release, rookie offensive lineman Mark Wilson will switch his jersey number from #62 to #63.
Demetric Evans has been sharing #71 with Ethan Albright since signing with the team in June but will now wear #92.
Wide receiver James Thrash has worn #3 and #17 since the Redskins traded for the 7-year veteran in March but will most likely change to #89 (formerly worn by Scott Cloman) or #83 (formerly worn by Cliff Russell).