Redskins: Five biggest cut day surprises in Washington
By Ian Cummings
No. 3 – The Redskins let go of Jeremy Reaves
It’s not far-fetched to say that Jeremy Reaves was the Redskins third best safety in preseason. He ended up leading the team overall in total tackles, and every week, he gave one-hundred percent effort on the field, showing impressive tenacity and range as a tackler.
The decision to keep Deshazor Everett over Reaves made more sense; Everett is at least a competent defensive backup, and he brings great value on special teams, an area where Washington is hurting. Troy Apke’s inclusion, however, is a bit more confounding.
It still makes sense, in a way, that the Redskins kept Apke over Reaves as the No. 4 safety. Apke is a top-flight athlete at the safety position, with a 4.34 40-yard dash and a 41-inch vertical serving as two of his numbers, and the team spent a fourth-round pick on him, so they want to get a return on that investment, if possible.
But it was clear that Apke hadn’t developed as much as the team had hoped this preseason. While he had flashes, showing his athleticism, his mental makeup isn’t where it needs to be as a safety. He’s slow making reads, and consistently took poor tackling angles. Athletic traits as solid as Apke’s don’t serve a purpose if a player can’t use them correctly. If this business was strictly about job performance, then Reaves would be on the roster right now.
But instead, the Redskins refused to trust their eyes, and instead trusted in something they can’t see: Unrealized potential. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.