Redskins surprisingly release Nate Sudfeld, hope to land him on practice squad

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 10: Quarterback Nate Sudfeld
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 10: Quarterback Nate Sudfeld /

In the preseason finale, many expected the Nate Sudfeld had done enough to make the final roster. However, a roster crunch has caused the Redskins to release him.

Cut days are always full of surprises. Each year, we see players released unexpectedly as the teams that have them hope to get them to the practice squad. This year, the Washington Redskins made a particularly surprising cut. They released Nate Sudfeld ahead of the Saturday deadline. Sudfeld will have to clear waivers to get to the practice squad.

While many will ask why cutting a third string quarterback is surprising, the fact is that Sudfeld seemingly had done enough to win a job with the Redskins. In the preseason finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sudfeld played the entire game and looked like he had grown a lot over the course of the offseason. He demonstrated arm strength and also showed excellent ball placement throughout the contest. He had a particularly nice pass to Matt Hazel down that demonstrated his skill set and potential perfectly.

However, the Redskins decided that performance wasn’t quite enough to keep him on the roster. The team does have Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy, so they are in fine shape at the quarterback position. At the same time, this is a major risk to try and pass Sudfeld through waivers and get him to the practice squad.

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That performance in Week 4 of the preseason will undoubtedly intrigue teams as he passes through waivers. Teams are always trying to find developmental quarterbacks in the NFL. It is the most important position after all. Teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets could consider claiming Sudfeld and giving him a chance to develop in hopes that he may be the answer at the quarterback position. If they like his Joe Flacco-like skill set, then he may not make it to the practice squad.

The bigger risk for the Redskins doesn’t come this season. It comes in 2018. Perhaps this release means that the team doesn’t have confidence in Sudfeld to develop. But more likely than not, they just want to open a roster spot for another player. However, if Sudfeld is claimed by another team, the Redskins will risk having only McCoy on their roster if Cousins leaves via free agency in 2018.

With little long term upside in McCoy, the Redskins would likely have to draft a new quarterback in the 2018 offseason and work to develop him. And if they are picking in the middle of the first round, it may be hard for them to land one of the top notch prospects who could be available.

Of course, there is some upside to this move. If Sudfeld does make it to the practice squad, the Redskins will be able to keep him and have an extra position player on the 53-man roster. That could mean that a guy like Mack Brown or Josh Harvey-Clemons would be with the team. That would give the team some more upside and depth for their overall roster.

Next: 9 Redskins who should have a roster spot over Nate Sudfeld

Giving up Sudfeld is a calculated risk, but if he clears waivers, then the Redskins will have made the right choice. Still, this is a shocking development and it will be interesting to see if Sudfeld lands with another team via waivers.