If you combine the nine players that Redskins.com are reporting have been cut and the ten players that the Washington Post are going to be cut, you get 19 players to be removed from the 73 man roster. Add to that Chris Clemons, who was placed on the injured reserve list because of a sprained shoulder that he suffered against Jacksonville, and you have your 53 man roster for 2003.
The Post lists QB Danny Wuerffel, RB Kenny Watson, TE Kevin Ware, WR Patrick Woodcock, OL Pita Elisara, OL Brad Bedell, DL Delbert Cowsette, DL Bernard Jackson, DB Ricot Joseph, LB Clifton Smith, and QB Gibran Hamdan.
Redskins.com is reporting that the Redskins have released these players: QB Danny Wuerffel, DE Andre Arnold, DB Larry Austin, DB Fred Booker, DE Jonathan Brown, DE Mike Cecere, RB Robert Gillespie, OT Akil Smith and DB Jordan Younger.
A few players were surprised by the news today, namely Kenny Watson. "I was pretty surprised and I'm a lot disappointed," Watson said. "I thought I had a good opportunity this year, but they didn't feel the same way as I did. . . . In this business, I don't think there's any such word as fair. You just have to roll with the punches, keep working hard and hope you catch on somewhere." Watson was the victim of an excellent camp by undrafted free agent Sultan McCullough. Offensive co-ordinator Hue Jackson coached Sultan at USC and brought him in to try and impress the other coaches. He did, and Watson is now looking for work maybe with the Lions, who are in need of a tailback with the injury to James Stewart.
Steve Spurrier indicated that Daniel Snyder had 'helped' make the decisions on Watson and Wuerffel, and that "When the coaching staff and the personnel department disagree about one or two players, the owner steps in and has the final say. That's the way we do things around here."
Wuerffel's release brings about a most precarious situation in Washington with only 2 quarterbacks on the starting roster. Coach said that Gibran Hamdan would be signed to the practice squad and would be brought up if anything happened to Patrick Ramsey or Rob Johnson. Spurrier did not know who would play quarterback in a game if an emergency arose but did add that Rod Gardner was a QB in high school.
Rob Johnson said (about the decision to only go with two quarterbacks), "It's a little surprising, but it's a numbers game and it's something you do if you have needs at other positions."
The Redskins also kept a ninth offensive lineman Brandon Winey, a seventh linebacker Orantes Grant and a ninth defensive back Todd Franz. Franz and Grant were kept for their special teams play. Retaining these three players really makes the decision to keep only 2 quarterbacks bizarre as these three roster slots do not appear to be overly crucial.
The Redskins have until 4:00pm Sunday (August 31) to officially announce their 53 man roster. They will then have to wait until midnight that night (September 1) for players to clear waivers, before they can name their five-man practice squad (six-man if a QB is one of them). Ware, Woodcock and Smith (Clifton) are said to be likely candidates, along with Hamdan if he clears waivers. Franz and Grant could still also end up on the practice squad, as the front office scours the waiver wire for another player or two that can help the team.