The Washington Redskins announced Saturday the list of players that have made the initial 53-man roster for the 2019 season. Here's a positional breakdown of who made the cut:
OFFENSE (26 Players)
Final cuts: Jalan McClendon
Takeaways: No surprises here. Veteran Case Keenum will be the team’s Week 1 starter under center, while first-round rookie Dwayne Haskins will serve as the backup. Longtime redskin Colt McCoy continues to rehab from the leg injury that ended his 2018 campaign.
Neither Josh Woodrum (injured reserve) nor Alex Smith (physically unable to perform) count towards the 53-man roster.
Final cuts: Samaje Perine, Craig Reynolds
Takeaways: Adrian Peterson, Derrius Guice and Chris Thompson were roster locks, so the biggest surprise here is the release of third-year running back Samaje Perine. Time and time again, head coach Jay Gruden went out of his way to highlight the 2017 fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma. His praise began at the NFL’s league meeting in March and continued throughout offseason workouts, training camp and the preseason.
But in a loaded running backs room, Perine became the odd man out. His preseason numbers certainly did not help. While he scored the team’s only rushing touchdown, the 5-foot-11, 240-pound bruiser averaged just 2.15 yards on 20 carries over four games. He also does not contribute on special teams, which is important considering the running back who made the roster over him -- fourth-year man Byron Marshall -- is a proven kick returner.
Elsewhere, the Redskins released undrafted rookie Craig Reynolds but could look to add the Division II product to the practice squad. Meanwhile, training camp signee Shaun Wilson is on the 53-man roster but is recovering from an ankle injury he suffered against the Cincinnati Bengals on Aug. 15. He’ll likely begin the season on Injured Reserve.
Final cuts: Jehu Chesson, Josh Doctson, Darvin Kidsy, Cam Sims, Brian Quick
Takeaway: The Redskins have officially parted ways with former first-round pick Josh Doctson in favor of younger wideouts with unproven potential.
Perhaps the biggest surprise to make this team is undrafted rookie Steven Sims Jr., whose speed, route-running and special teams prowess helped him earn a roster spot. Gruden has called Sims "electrifying" and "a little fire ball," over the past couple of days, and Sims backed up those claims in the preseason finale Thursday night. Not only did he make a diving touchdown catch in the back of the end zone, but he also combined for 80 yards on two kick returns.
The other Sims, Cam Sims, did not make the cut despite a strong training camp and a noteworthy effort (three receptions for 48 yards) in Week 3 of the preseason. He did, however, drop multiple passes Thursday night.
Sims, along with Darvin Kidsy and special teams standout Jehu Chesson, are all practice squad candidates. Veteran Brian Quick was the fifth Redskins wideout released.
As for the starters, expect third-round rookie Terry McClaurin to join first-team receivers Trey Quinn and Paul Richardson on the field for the regular season opener.
Final cuts: Matt Flanagan, J.P. Holtz, Donald Parham
Takeaways: The Redskins keeping just three tight ends could be a good sign for playmaker Jordan Reed, who went into concussion protocol after taking a nasty hit against the Atlanta Falcons on Aug. 22. Gruden has said he's "quite confident" Reed would be fine, and the team's moves on Saturday suggest he'll be back on the field soon.
Final cuts: Jerald Foster, Blake Hance, Zac Kerin, Timon Parris, Corey Robinson, Hugh Thornton
Takeaways: Based on reps during training camp and in the preseason, these roster cuts were expected. Morgan Moses and Brandon Scherff will start on the right side of the line and Chase Roullier is back at center. The left side has more uncertainty, though Gruden said that as of now Donald Penn and Ereck Flowers will start at tackle and guard, respectively.
NOTE: Left tackle Trent Williams, who has yet to report to the team, remains on the Reserve/Did Not Report list. He does not count towards the 53-man roster.
DEFENSE (24 Players)
Final cuts: Ryan Bee, Jonathan Bonner, Khairi Clark, Austin Maloata, JoJo Wicker
Takeaways: The trio of Allen, Payne, and Ioannidis return for their second season together as a unit, while Settle and Brantley round out perhaps the strongest position group on the roster.
The Redskins opted to keep just five defensive linemen, which meant having to release second-year player JoJo Wicker and undrafted rookie Ryan Bee. Both players could end up on the team's practice squad.
Final cuts: Andrew Ankrah, Marcus Smith II
Takeaways: The combination of Montez Sweat and Ryan Anderson working opposite of perennial Pro Bowler Ryan Kerrigan could result in havoc off the edge for opposing offenses. Despite suffering a concussion in the preseason finale, Cassanova McKinzy also worked his way onto the roster after showcasing his valuable pass-rushing skills in training camp and in preseason games.
Seventh-round rookie Jordan Brailford is dealing with a groin injury and will likely start 2019 on IR.
Final cuts: B.J. Blunt, Marquis Flowers, Gary Johnson, Darrell Williams
Takeaways: The most-surprising cut at middle linebacker came at the start of the training camp when the Redskins released veteran Mason Foster. The team felt confident in the group they had, and that doesn't seem to have changed entering Week 1 in Philadelphia.
Offseason signee Jon Bostic has come in and taken command of the defense thanks in large part to his constant communication. There are also high hopes for second-year man Shaun Dion Hamilton, who will start alongside Bostic in Week 1, as well as fifth-round rookie Cole Holcomb and 2017 draft pick Josh Harvey-Clemons.
Of the players cut, B.J. Blunt could become a practice squad addition if he clears waivers.
Final cuts: Adonis Alexander, Deion Harris, Ashton Lampkin, D.J. White
Takeaways: Norman and Dunbar return as the starting outside corners with Jimmy Moreland and Fabian Moreau expected to primarily work in nickel packages covering the slot. Veteran Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie offers additional depth and speed on the outside, and Greg Stroman offers versatility on both defense and special teams.
Final Cuts: Jeremy Reaves, JoJo McIntosh
Notes: Landon Collins aligns besides a rangy Nicholson on the backend of a Redskins defense that will look to take advantage of potential turnovers forced by the front seven. Deshazor Everett has been used all over the field throughout training camp both near the line and in deep coverage, including three safety looks with the prior mentioned Collins and Nicholson. Apke's speed is noticeable, and the second-year man will look for a healthy second season to contribute on defense and special teams.
SPECIAL TEAMS (3 Players)
Final cuts: none
Notes: The trio of specialists return for their fifth season together.