Patten Appears Safe For Now

David Patten was supposed to bring big play ability and veteran leadership to the Redskins when he signed with them last year. A season that started with ineffective play and ended with Patten on injured reserve, however, left some questions about his future with the team.

After some talk that receiver David Patten might be released in a post-June 1 move, it appears that the receiver's roster spot is safe.

The reports, which appeared here and elsewhere in articles speculating about possible releases for salary cap relief, were not based on any type of inside information from within the Redskins organization. Rather, many analysts looked at Patten's 2006 salary ($1.085 million), his 2005 production (22 catches for 217 yards before going on IR with a knee injury after 10 games), and the fact that the Redskins shelled out some $60 million to acquire two wide receivers (Brandon Lloyd and Antwaan Randle El) and figured that the Redskins might let him go.

The Redskins caught wind of the rumors and evidently the possibility of a Patten release was news to them. "I'll tell you what, David Patten has looked good out there [in OTAs]. He's making plays. He'll get his opportunities," said Vinny Cerrato.

Washington will probably keep five receivers and three of them will be Lloyd, Randle El, and Santana Moss. That leaves Patten, Taylor Jacobs, and James Thrash to fight it out for the last two spots. Thrash is a big contributor on special teams so he has to be considered to have the inside track for the fifth spot, so that leaves Patten and Jacobs.

It would be a major upset if Taylor, who has produced virtually nothing in three years since coming in as a second-round selection in 2003, were to beat out Patten. Still, the veteran entering his ninth season after stints with the Giants and Patriots, will have to perform well in camp and preseason games in order to erase any doubt about his value and ensure that he is on the roster when the season starts.

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