Thumps up, thumbs down on Redskins 53-man roster

Chris Russell
September 01, 2019 - 2:13 pm

The Washington Redskins created their initial 53-man roster on Saturday afternoon. As usual, there were many expected cuts,  resolutions to lingering disappointment and a couple of eyebrow raisers. 

I understand and liked most of the Redskins choices in trimming their roster down from 90. However, their cutdown day decisions with one position group could become a major problem going forward. 

Thumbs DOWN:

The Redskins released 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson. They tried and tried to trade him throughout this week, according to multiple reports, and to no surprise, could not. 

I thought all along the Redskins should have kept Doctson unless they could get a fifth-round pick back for him in a trade. But the problem is they had no leverage as everyone knew the Redskins wanted to get rid of Doctson.

And there's the other thing: Doctson is far from special. He's was inconsistent and in the final year of his rookie contract after Washington smartly declined to pick up his fifth-year option in May. As one personnel expert quipped the other day, "He's not a first-round talent. Never been one." And no surprise, he went unclaimed on waivers.

ANALYSIS: Redskins choose functional over flashy in cut to 53

I can't go crazy and stand on the table for Doctson in any way, but I can make an argument for why I don't think this move is right for Washington. 

Hear me out, the Redskins now have a roster without a receiver with NFL experience and durability entering the season. Paul Richardson and Trey Quinn have consistently been injured in their careers. Quinn is obviously a smaller sample size, but he's now coming back from his third injury since he was Mr. Irrelevant at the 2018 NFL Draft.

Richardson has been hurt in every season except his free-agent walk year from Seattle, which is how he landed with Washington. He played just seven games last year for the Skins and managed just 20 catches.

Terry McLaurin, Kelvin Harmon, Steven Sims Jr., and Robert Davis have virtually ZERO NFL regular-season experience. Davis played in one game (no receptions) in 2017. The other three are rookies. For a team that can't stay healthy and has a dark cloud hovering overhead inside the circus tent that is Ashburn, this is an enormous risk. Durability and dependability should be an emphasis for this organization and it doesn't seem like it ever is. 

Many will scream, it's not like Doctson was durable either. But on this team, he is. He missed just one of his last 32 regular-season games. Doctson went for 81 receptions for 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns during his career.

He averaged 2.45 receptions per game, along with 33.3 yards per game and a score every 4.12 games he played. Obviously, those numbers scream average at best. But Doctson, believe it or not, was the most dependable receiver the Redskins had over the last two years, simply because he was able to stay on the field. 

MORE: Redskins official 53-man roster

He was also targeted 78 times in each of the past two years and last year, his reception count jumped from 35 to 44 and his receiving yards had a slight increase of 30, year over year. 

Doctson did not play at all on special teams last year, which clearly hurts whatever value he had to the team going forward. 

In addition, the Redskins axed last year's preseason stud, Cam Sims, who was injured and unavailable in his rookie season and had three bad drops on Thursday. Many believed Cam Sims was a lock before Thursday. (The Redskins signed him to the practice squad Sunday.)

Can the Redskins replace Doctson's production and Sims' promise? I hope so. There's no doubt Washington has potential, but do they have health and anything other than hope? Not really. 

Thumbs UP:

Cutting Samaje Perine is a good move by the Redskins. His skill-set was redundant with Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice healthy. Although he is oft-injured, Chris Thompson could carry the ball between the tackles as well if something happens to Guice or Peterson. 

Head coach Jay Gruden throws bouquets of roses constantly at certain guys: Maurice Harris, Ryan Grant, and Perine. All three were whacked or let go as soon as their contracts were up. 

Don't believe the hype, love, and affection. Ever. 

I strongly believe it's Jay trying to play his role as the lead spokesman in a very political organization. 

Perine couldn't contribute to special teams, either.

This was a fairly easy move to see coming.

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