The Washington Redskins made the opening moves of the 2010 free agent season today.
"Gone are backup quarterback Todd Collins, receiver Antwaan Randle El, guard Randy Thomas, kick returner Rock Cartwright, cornerback Fred Smoot, running back Ladell Betts and defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin. Their contracts were terminated.
"Also exiting via waivers: Running back Marcus Mason, fullback Eddie Williams and defensive end J.D. Skolnitsky."
Todd Collins never got the shot to start that he deserved when he followed Al Saunders to the Redskins in 2006. Collins had the best grip on Saunders' complex offensive schemes. He gave fans the first real inkling of what Saunders offense might have been when he stepped in for an injured Jason Campbell late in the 2007 season to lead Washington's four game charge to the playoffs.
Joe Gibbs stuck with Mark Brunell in 2006 instead of Collins, one of several blunders made by the legendary coach that year. Gibbs hatched a plan to use Collins as the in-game back-up to Brunell, but would elevate Jason Campbell to No. 2 if Campbell had a week of practice snaps with the first team offense. (I just wrote that and I'm still confused.)
Local fans hoped for the best for Marcus Mason. But he failed to catch on with the Raven or the Jets, teams he spent time with after Washington cut him. The Redskins brought him back after season ending injuries to Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts. Jim Zorn was more impressed with Quinton Ganther. Mike Shanahan evidently feels the same.
I expected to see Colt Brennan on this list, but he's hanging in there. Maybe Shanahan will give him a shot.
The Redskins tendered contracts to Jason Campbell, Carlos Rogers and Rocky McIntosh.
If you believe, as I do, that Campbell and Rogers are trade bait, then look for Washington to gauge interest in those players. It's unlikely any team will pony up a first and third round draft pick for either of them, but Washington could sign them to new contracts and trade them for lesser offers.
A move like that won't surprise me for Rogers. Campbell may be in limbo until the Skins see whether Sam Bradford will fall to them in the Draft.