Rock Cartwright. Cornelius Griffin. Ladell Betts. Fred Smoot. Randy Thomas. Antwaan Randel El. Todd Collins. Marcus Mason. Eddie Williams. JD Skolnitsky
These men have played here for years, some were still in their first season. Like a swift axe from an executioner the Redskins began the Free Agency period with quite a shake up. Fan favorites beloved and recognized throughout the region, are Redskins no more. Let the speculation begin, who comes in next? They freed up a ton of money, it is only a matter of time before the biggest free agent comes in.
Bruce Allen, GM and VP of Football Operations, hosted a press conference to address the situation in Redskins park. The players released were aging. Smoot, Cartwright, and Betts were all originally drafted by the Skins. Marcus Mason and Eddie Williams were relatively new. Randel El, Griffin, and Randy Thomas were some of the most coveted free agents that came in. Bruce Allen acknowledged that these players were released early so that they would have a shot a joining on with other teams. On a non-cut related matter, when asked about Clinton Portis, Allen responded with:”He’s our starting running back…”
A page has been turned, and by all means will not be looked back on. Listening to the post conference musings, it was swift and because of the lack of time spent together, it was not a difficult as most “cut days” have been.
What does this mean?
Today Randy Thomas, a JetSkin from 2002, was cut on the same day Chris Samuels retired. It was known long ago that this offensive line needed to be retooled, and it looks like it will. Todd Collins, who gained fame by leading the Redskins to a Playoff berth in 2007, now signals true uncertainty at the quarterback position. We know Jason Campbell has been offered a first round tender, but it would be unwise to declare his opening day status as “in the bag”, Cornelius Griffin and Fred Smoot was a shock, but not surprising. Where Griffin was playing hurt more often than not Smoot was a reliable defensive back who was capable of filling holes. Unless their spots are addressed in free agency or the draft, then it looks like youth will be called upon to step up.
Now we have Ladell Betts and Rock Cartwright, the hard working and silent understudies to Clinton Portis. Both backs debuted together as draft picks in 2002, and have been valuable compliments since they arrived, however nothing more. Gaining fame and depth chart position through special teams, these two made a career of being plugged where they were needed. Only getting starts if the man ahead of them was hurt, they never were regular starters. Betts said on an interview with the LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes Show on 106.7 the Fan that he and Portis had a “good” relationship on a and off the field. Cartwright however was not afraid to call out Portis for not practicing. These two will be missed, more so because of the work ethic they brought, rather than production on the field. The latter was not their fault, as they were never designated the playing time they deserved. Hopefully they find greener pastures no matter where they land.