Five Redskins to be Released

According to multiple sources, Joe Gibbs has contacted five Redskins and has informed them that they will be relased regardless of the outcome of the CBA negotiations. Here we look at the particulars of each player and how the releases will affect the team in 2006.

S Matt Bowen

How acquired: Restricted free agent in 2003
Compensation: Sixth-round selection
2005: Played in 13 games, credited with 1 start (team started with six defensive backs vs. Arizona)
Cap savings: $2 million

A restricted free agent and the Redskins signed in 2003, Bowen started 16 games that year, recording 94 tackles and three interceptions. In the next year's season opener he looked like he was the perfect safety in Gregg Williams' system, recording a dozen tackles including two sacks plus a forced fumble. That season ended prematurely due to a knee injury in Week 5. His knee continued to bother him in training camp last season. He battled back but he couldn't crack the starting lineup and was an easy target for the waiver wire with the $2 million in cap savings.

CB Walt Harris

How acquired: Unrestricted free agent in 2003
2005: Played in 12 games, starting 11
Cap savings: $2 million

Harris came to the Redskins and accepted a role as a nickel back after having started in 113 NFL games for the Bears and Colts. As Shawn Springs and Fred Smoot remained mostly healthy in 2004, Harris started just two games but played in all 16 and intercepted 2 passes. Last year, his role was increased considerably as Smoot left via free agency and first-round draftee Carlos Rogers was gradually added to the lineup. Even after Rogers got into the lineup, Harris started in both his place and for Shawn Springs due to injuries.  

C Cory Raymer

How acquired: Unrestricted free agent in 2004
2005: Played in three games, no starts
Cap savings: $2 million

After returning to the team—he was the team's second-round draft pick in 1995 and was the starter for most of the seasons from then through 2001—he went in and claimed the starting center job three games into the season and kept it for the rest of 2004. His performance so impressed the team that in the first few hours of free agency last year the team immediately gave Casey Rabach of the Ravens a nice free agent contract to come in and take Raymer's place. He played in just three games and a horrible performance in relief at guard in the Seattle playoff game sealed his fate if his cap savings number of just shy of $1 million.

Also expected to be released are two players who spent all of 2005 on injured reserve. In 2004 DT Brandon Noble (savings of $1.7 million) made a remarkable comeback from a serious knee injury the previous season, but had difficulties with the knee in training camp and wound up on IR. Punter Tom Tupa ($667,000) appeared to have the job nailed down before last season following a solid 2004 campaign, but a back injury late in training camp forced the team to put him on IR and sign rookie Derrick Frost.


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