Redskins Notes: McCants Among Cuts

The Redskins cut receiver Darnerien McCants and signed punter Chris Mohr, two moves that no one anticipated today. Not that anyone expected McCants to figure in the Redskins' plans, but that he was cut in this round was surprising.

And Mohr's signing isn't a good move for two people: Tom Tupa and Andy Groom. Tupa's back continues to give him problems and Groom's inexperience seems to be giving the Redskins problems. So they signed the 15-year veteran. Groom could still win the job, but the Redskins now have an insurance policy.

Mohr said he turned down offers from Minnesota and St. Louis earlier this summer.

‘'At this stage of my career I don't want to compete,'' he said. ‘'You know what I can do. My punting isn't going to change from what I've done the last 15 years.''

As for McCants, Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said special teams played a factor.

''Any time you don't play special teams it hurts you,'' he said.

McCants did not play special teams since the Baltimore scrimmage. Which is why his ouster isn't a surprise, just the timing. But this does allow him to catch on with another team.

. . .It's an expensive move: McCants signed a three-year, $4.5 million deal in the offseason.

. . . Here's the list: WR Darnerien McCants, LB Jared Newberry, LB Clifton Smith, TE Billy Baber, DB Charles Byrd, PK Jeff Chandler, RB Jonathan Combs, RB Brock Forsey, WR Steven Harris, DL Charles Howard, QB Bryson Spinner, DL Jerome Nichols (Sidwell Friends), OL Josh Warner and RB Dahrran Diedrick.

. . . Punter Tom Tupa was in California to get a second opinion on his injured back. That's a bad sign. It appears Tupa's days could be numbered. It's doubtful Mohr would have signed had Tupa been likely to return any time soon. Mohr had another offer from St. Louis, which plays tonight, but did not want to wait another day. Had this not been a legit chance to win the job, Mohr would have waited.

. . . The Redskins still must release one more player. The hard part comes Saturday when they must trim the roster to 53. The depth at linebacker presents problems good and bad: it'll be hard to cut players, but they have better players to cut. And one thing I expect to see: Rock Cartwright and Nehemiah Broughton both on the roster. Cartwright is considered a core special teamer; Broughton has been impressive running the ball and has a big fan in coach Earnest Byner. Plus he's a short-yardage back, something they don't really have.

. . . The best season Darnerien McCants had in Washington was two years ago, when he caught 27 passes and six for touchdowns. He was the only red zone threat as Steve Spurrier used him as a tight end inside the scoring area, with great success.

But Gibbs' staff places a great deal of emphasis on being able to play special teams and that's where McCants fell short.

. . . This doesn't mean Kevin Dyson has made the roster. The Redskins still aren't certain how many wideouts they'll keep; it'll be anywhere from four to six. Taylor Jacobs' injury has complicated matters as Washington right now doesn't even know if he'll be available for the opener.

. . . I always liked Clifton Smith, as did linebackers coach Dale Lindsey. But Smith seemed to make more plays in the past than he did this summer. Hence his departure.

. . . No surprise that Jared Newberry was cut. Didn't see him make many plays at all.

. . . Center Cory Raymer did not play against Pittsburgh because he had food poisoning. His roster spot is safe, from what we hear.

. . . Linebacker Robert McCune (groin) is day to day. Runnng back Ladell Betts has a bruised ankle and did not practice. Safety Matt Bowen has a bruised chest and won't practice until next week. He was released from the hospital Sunday. None appear to be serious.

. . . Safety Ryan Clark's family had to be evacuated from the New Orleans area, but he says all got out of town safely. Clark has a house in New Orleans and is yet uncertain about the damage. But Clark obviously was more worried about his family. He's one of the good guys on the roster.

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