It's an active week for the Washington Redskins who made their first moves to trim the 2012 roster. Lets get you caught up.
Redskins kick Gano, Banks watch continues
In the biggest news, neither free agent place kicker Neil Rackers, nor incumbent Graham Gano made the team. Washington released Rackers, and then they signed Billy Cundiff, late of the Baltimore Ravens. The Redskins released Gano to make room for him.
Cundiff travelled through Dallas and New Orleans before spending the last two and a-half seasons with Baltimore. He lost the job to undrafted free agent Justin Tucker (Texas). The Ravens went with a big-legged, untested Graham Gano-like rookie to replace veteran Cundiff, while the Redskins snatched Cundiff to replace Gano. That's a head-scratcher. Raise your hands if you think this is a real solution. (Hands firmly in pocket.)
Don't call me a Gano fan. I'm just pointing out that the Redskins gave up on young Shaun Suisham, too, just as he was entering his productive years. Billy Cundiff's best advantage is the he is not Graham Gano. Different does not make him better for Washington. Hope it works.
It was a kindness to release Gano now. He has a week's head start on other bubble kickers who might be released Friday. If the Redskins have any such inkling about Brandon Banks, it would have been kind to do likewise for him yesterday.
Kevin Barnes traded to Detroit
The front office continues to weed out players selected by Vinny Cerrato. Washington traded CB Kevin Barnes to the Detroit Lions, in another example of the cycle of life. While with Maryland, Barnes was best known for the puke-inducing hit he made on Cal's Jahvid Best. That video is a cult favorite with DC-based Terrapin-Redskins fans.
Best found his way to the Lions' den. Even though the Lions placed him on the PUP list, I think he will run into Barnes up there.
That YouTube video is another chance to look at the last good-looking Maryland Terrapin football uniform. The Terps haven't played well since going away from that look. I am superstitious when comes to football. I'm sure there is a connection.
Jammal Brown to PUP
Mike Shanahan reaffirmed his support and compassion for RT Jammal Brown ... by not waiving him from the team. I no longer expect to see Brown play for Washington again.
Brown's long, slow, apparently incomplete recovery from hip surgery hampered his game in New Orleans, which is why they traded him, and in Washington, where he never recovered his Pro Bowl form. He tried yoga this offseason to gain flexibility. It was no help. Brown had another hip surgery August 1 and will need for to six weeks to recover. The Redskins added him to the Reserve/Physically Unable to Return list Monday.
Brown will be ineligible to join the Redskins active roster until Week 6, upon which time he can be activated, traded, released or placed on season-ending Injured Reserve. Full recovery and activation would seem to be miraculous after this much time. The league's theft of $36 million of salary cap hampered Washington's ability to sign starter-quality replacements.
I do not know Mr. Brown. It's easier for me to say from a distance that it is time to move on. It's harder for the coaching staff who watched Brown try to do all he could to help the team. Hard decisions are what they are paid to make. It's time to move on.
Tyler Polumbus starts the season at right tackle. Mike Jones story in today's WaPOST notes Polumbus' familiarity with Mike Shanahan's offense. That can pay dividends, for a short while anyway. it's why Kory Lichtensteiger plays left guard today. It made Ryan Torain appear to be a better runner than he truly is.
The Redskins terminated the contracts of veterans James Lee and Tony Moll. Both are offensive linemen.
The Redskins released the following players:
Antwon Bailey RB Syracuse
Lennon Creer RB Louisiana Tech
Chris Campbell OL Eastern Illinois
Sam Kirkland WR Kent State
Monte Lewis LB Jacksonville State
Nick Martinez OL Oklahoma State
Beau Reliford TE Florida State
Jonathan Crompton QB Tennessee
Morgan Trent (Injured) CB Michigan
Lance Lewis (Injured) WR East Carolina
The roster stands at 75 players going into Wednesday's game against Tampa Bay. NFL teams must cut the roster to 53 this Friday afternoon. Football musical chairs is a rough game, especially for the 22 men vying for the last 10 or 12 seats on the team.