The First Cut is the Deepest
By: Mark Solway 
Posted: 2003-08-25
Category: Washington Redskins News
The Redskins have pared their roster down to 73 players including 8 that were assigned to NFL Europe last season. The NFL requires rosters down to 65 by 4:00pm August 27th, but the NFLE players receive exemptions until the final cutdown (to 53) on September 1st.

Here are the first round of cuts:

Tre Johnson, offensive guard - The 'Big Banga' was sidelined on the first day of camp with an achilles injury and never practiced again. He has vowed to continue his comeback and will be ready to resume play again in a few weeks. Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato informed Tre of their decision to release him with the rationale that they didn't think that they could count on his health but wanted him to consider retiring a Redskin. A nice gesture. His attitude and team ethic make him a valuable asset to any team, but Tre has always bled burgundy and gold and belongs in D.C. in whatever capacity. He can always come and write for theHogs.net!! Good luck big man.

Rod Jones, offensive lineman - was also injured early in training camp (ankle). Jones started at tackle for the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl but never started a game for the Redskins after a torn bicep ended his 2002 season. The Redskins, with Jon Jansen and Chris Samuels, tried to convert Jones to a guard, but the project failed dismally. Obviously the front office felt that he could be replaced by a lower cap figure like Brad Bedell in a backup role. Jansen has played in 116 consecutive games (66 for the Redskins, and 50 at Michigan), so a backup tackle in Washington is not likely to see much action!

Scott Cloman, wide receiver - had a great training camp. It's a little surprising to see him cut in the first round as he made a strong campaign to at least make the team's practice squad (which he still may). Big, strong and good hands... the Redskins have a strong receiving corps and Cloman managed to impress a lot of people from within that 'corps'. Another NFL team will definitely give this kid a look, but he will definitely return to Arena football if they don't.

Richmond Flowers, wide receiver - also had a good training camp. Much ballyhooed on our live camp reports on the message boards, this kid did everything you could ask of a prospect to try and make this team. First on the field and last off during camp, with a non-stop motor in between, had to make cutting him difficult. Being ineligible for the practice squad this year may have been his achilles heel.

Sean Dillard, wide receiver - never seems to drop a ball. Special Teams, or as a receiver, Dillard seemed to catch everything at training camp. Small stature and very quick, he is unlikely to attract a lot of NFL attention with higher profile receivers inevitably being released. Hopefully a year in NFL Europe or Arena Football will keep this kid around for another kick at the can.

David Leaverton, punter - the guy who came in and made Bryan Barker punt better than he ever has as a Redskin. Barker had a career day in their 'kickoff' against the Ravens and Leaverton's fate was sealed. As with any kicker, there's always a good chance that someone else will give him a look somewhere down the road.

Nic Clemons, defensive lineman - The undrafted rookie free agent out of Clemson is an impressive physical specimen. An injury early on in camp probably prevented him from having a good shot at making this team.

Shamar Finney, linebacker - was released for the second consecutive year. He earned a spot on the practice squad in 2002, but the Penn State product is fighting a tough battle cracking the Redskins linebacking unit which is very deep.

Thad Buttone, fullback - was released earlier this week and then re-signed. The Troy State grad has now been released by the Redskins after 3 consecutive camps.


Here are the cuts made this afternoon (08/26):

James Cannida, defensive tackle - had a short stay. Brought in last week to contend for the starting DT spot, he registered a sack against the Ravens. Today's signing of Lioal Dalton made him expendable.

Alex Molden, cornerback - could not catch on. Signed late this offseason to provide cornerback depth, he could not force sophomore Rashad Bauman out of a roster spot. He did however, make Bauman step up his game.

Greg Scott, defensive lineman - Last year as a 7th round draft choice, Scott surprised many by not only making the team, but by making his pro debut against Jacksonville in Week 10. This year he gained weight to make a run at playing DT instead of DE but obviously it did not work out.

Leonard Stephens, tight end - had a good training camp. With 6 probable WR roster spots and 4 RB spots, there just isn't room to carry many tight ends, so he is a numbers victim.

Lloyd Harrison, defensive back - was released from his second tour of duty. Selected by the Redskins in the 3rd round of 2000, his only substantial NFL playing time came for the Chargers in 2001.

Wade Davis, defensive back - was released by his 3rd NFL team. After earning a World Bowl IX ring for NFL Europe's Berlin Thunder, he will likely return there to continue his quest to make an NFL squad.

The Redskins have released some good players. That should be a sign of a good team.

Practice squad members can be named after 12pm on Sept. 1.

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