How cutting Mason Foster helps the Redskins

Chris Russell
July 23, 2019 - 5:18 pm

Mason Foster will not be with the Redskins when they report to Richmond for their first practice of 2019. Foster was released Tuesday.

This is a move that helps Washington on several fronts. The most obvious is the Redskins now have an extra $4 million in cap space, per

Washington should have more than $12.2 million in cap space for 2019, which can also be rolled over to 2020, once the transaction is finalized.

That cap savings and cap room could be used in a number of ways:

1. A Brandon Scherff extension.

2. The Redskins could use the extra space as a contract "sweetener" to entice Trent Williams to report to camp and bury his grievance with the organization. 

3. A new veteran inside linebacker could be added via free agency or trade. Now – or as teams pare down their rosters to 53.

Remember, the Redskins went hard after C.J. Mosley, who signed a mega deal with the Jets after starring with the Ravens.

If it helps seal the deal for Scherff, the Redskins would likely save even more money on their 2019 cap, because his cap value of $12.52 million would very likely go down to around $8 million, while locking up their top interior lineman.

Besides the cap impact, which is a huge element, releasing Foster does allow the Redskins to give more snaps to rookie inside linebacker Cole Holcomb and young veteran Josh Harvey-Clemons. The more snaps, the better for young players to develop. Especially under the tutelage of new inside linebackers coach Rob Ryan.

Jay Gruden also seems to be smitten with Holcomb's speed, versatility and leadership.

The belief is that Holcomb, Shaun Dion Hamilton and newly signed Jon Bostic can all play both the "Mike" and "Mo" inside linebacker positions, as Craig Hoffman detailed in his training camp preview for the position group.

In addition, all four remaining inside backers are faster and possibly better on special teams than Foster is. That matters.

If the Redskins were to suffer an injury at the position or decide they want an upgrade to the current group, they could add former Redskins linebacker Will Compton, who is more than familiar with the system and has dual position ability. Compton spent last year with the Titans, but is currently a free agent.

Or they could add a free agent veteran like Manti Te'o, last of the New Orleans Saints. Te'o played both inside linebacker spots last year and has plenty of 3-4 experience from his days with the Chargers.

One issue – no matter how much this probably helps the Redskins – we should keep in mind? They look poor by waiting until the day before training camp to release a veteran like Foster.

Foster's agent, Blake Baratz is not happy with the Redskins, which is understandable. 

Other players around the NFL are going to view this as a slimy move, because they could and should have made this decision six weeks ago.

That could affect how a free agent in demand views joining the Redskins, if he has other offers.

For now, this is a move that, while poorly timed, makes sense for the Redskins.