With NFL free agency largely in the rearview mirror and the 2021 NFL Draft just under three weeks away, we’re in a little bit of a lull in the NFL offseason. The moves aren’t coming in as fast and as furious as they once were, but teams are still reshaping their 90-man rosters as they look toward the future and the 2021 NFL season.
That’s part of the reason that the Washington Football Team made a flurry of roster moves on Friday afternoon. None were big-time moves, but fans will recognize at least a couple of the players that were released.
Washington Football Team roster cuts
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According to the team’s official Twitter account, five players were released by the Washington Football Team. They are as follows:
- DL Caleb Brantley
- TE Thaddeus Moss
- WR Emanuel Hall
- RB Javon Leake
- RB Michael Warren
Of the players released, Brantley and Moss are the biggest names. Brantley had spent three years in Washington after being a sixth-round pick by the Cleveland Browns in the 2017 NFL Draft. He had two sacks as a rookie but in Washington, he played in just eight games and served as a depth piece on a stacked defensive line. He had one tackle to his name in Washington.
Brantley always had upside, but lacking opportunities and injuries kept him out of action. He was a high-risk opt-out for the 2020 season, and with Tim Settle backing up Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen well, Brantley became expendable, especially with Matt Ioannidis set to return from an injury.
As for Moss, he was a fan-favorite undrafted free agent who was thought to have a chance to make the 53-man roster as a rookie. However, that was more due to Washington’s lacking depth at the tight end spot than Moss’ ability.
Moss was an average athlete who put up solid numbers at LSU, but none of his traits stood out. Could he have developed into a role player at tight end? Sure. He was good enough at finding space, but injuries hurt his chances of doing so. And evidently, Washington is more comfortable with the other back-end roster options they have at this point than they are in Moss.
Of course, this also could indicate that Washington is set to target a tight end in the 2021 NFL Draft. That would be a smart move for them considering that they are razor-thin at the position behind Logan Thomas.
As for the other three cuts, none are too surprising. Hall was thought to be an underrated 6-foot-3 athlete at the receiver spot, but he tore his Achilles tendon during the summer and never got to play for Washington. After adding three receivers during the offseason (Curtis Samuel, Adam Humphries, and DeAndre Carter) and getting Kelvin Harmon back from an ACL tear, Hall’s chances of making the roster were slim to none.
And on Friday, they officially became none.
Expect more maneuvering like this from Washington in the coming months. They need to make room for new draft picks and undrafted free agents, so don’t be surprised to see them cycle through different back-end roster candidates throughout the offseason.