7 players who could be released by Washington this offseason
Much of the news and ideas we've covered so far this off-season has to do with players Washington would like to bring in through the Free Agency or the NFL Draft, but we seldom touch on players who might be shown the door.
Every year there are runs that could surprise us because of the caliber or the timing. For example, it was both last year when veteran RB Adrian Peterson was shown the door at training camp just before the season started. A couple of months earlier it was Josh Norman who was cut, and in the previous off-season, Semaje Perine.
So who could get the ax this off-season? Will it be someone who will surprise us, or will it be for a long time? Here are 7 people who we think are on their way out.
S Landon Collins
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Right off the bat, this is more of a potential release based on what Washington might have in rookie S Kamren Curl rather than a lack of Landon Collins production. The veteran had a somewhat slow start to the 2020 season, but it came just before he suffered a torn Achilles tendon that ended his season. Of course you know the rest; Curl entered the SS post and became an absolute revelation. He easily took over the number and has earned a place in defense for years. On an even playing field, one could argue that Collins and Curl are pretty close to each other in the competition for the top spot. However, considering that Collins hits a cap hit of $ 17.2 million in 2021 and Curl costs a little over $ 808,000, it's justifiable to move on. Of course, it's not that easy to cut ties and choose the cheaper option. If Collins were released, he would charge Washington with a cap hit of $ 13.8 million next season, according to Spotrac. There is no such thing as a good answer. Collins is hard to get rid of and impossible not to play curl. Whatever Washington ultimately does, there will always be a downside.
RB Peyton Barber
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
It's hard to predict what the running back room will look like next season, but we can assume that both Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic will still be there. Peyton Barber, on the other hand, may have disappeared. He only has a $ 1.67 million cap hit, but his production last season may not be enough to warrant a squad spot, especially when we see RB Bryce Love finally getting on the field. Barber had 94 carry for 258 yards (2.7 yards per try), but he also added 4 touchdowns. Depending on what the coaches see in Barber, it is very likely that he will keep a roster seat, but publication is also very possible.
WR Steven Sims Jr.
(AP Photo / Daniel Kucin Jr.)
The uncovered free agent showed up in the 2019 season and became a great kick-return man and solid option in some tricky games. Steven Sims Jr.'s second season, however, had none of that fuss. He has been largely absent on offense, and his presence as a punt returnee is likely to scare many fans as he led the league on missed punts. Sims may be able to change things in the future, but at this point it seems more likely that he'll be eliminated from the team and open a roster slot for someone else until the next season.
FS Troy Apke
(AP Photo / Susan Walsh)
The Troy Apke experiment ... didn't go well in 2020, to put it lightly. While he was referred to as starting safety at training camp, it quickly became apparent that he was over his head, routinely taking deep cover and missing out on brutal open field duels. Washington ended up using Apke for Deshazor Everett, which was a massive improvement. As of this writing, I see no way Apke will be on the team in 2021, especially with the rise of Everett and Jeremy Reaves, let alone the fact that Washington is likely to keep it safe this off-season as well.
LG Wes Martin
(AP Photo / Barry Reeger)
There was a hole in the left guard position to fill in the 2020 season, and many had high hopes that sophomore player Wes Martin could be the one to do it. Unfortunately, that didn't seem to work that well. Martin started the first five games of the season and was then used for Wes Schweitzer, who played much better on the track. Schweitzer is back under contract in 2021, and the dead cap hit Martin hit is next to nothing should he be released. Washington may keep it for depth and development, but at this point it's just as easy to see it disappear.
RB Bryce love
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Those of us who have seen Bryce Love's incredible college career at Stanford are still hoping he'll get well and add to the offense in Washington, but it's getting harder and harder to justify his spot on the roster. After being drafted in the fourth round in 2019, Love is yet to make his NFL debut after a prolonged knee injury knocked him out. There was some hope that he would see the field this season, but a setback kept him in the IR and his status remains unknown. It will eventually depend on what love is like this off-season, but at this point the team has every right to move on.
LT Geron Christian
(AP Photo / David Richard)
Similar to Wes Martin, there were hopes that Geron Christian could finally make a jump this year and become Washington's starting LT to hold the space vacated by Trent Williams. Instead, Christian started the first six games of the season and was then accepted into the IR. He was replaced by Cornelius Lucas, who played very well in his absence. Lucas is under contract for the next season, and the team has also picked Saahdiq Charles from the 2020 fourth round who will be battling for the spot, someone who was seen as a round one talent. Suffice it to say that the game-time path seems quite difficult for Christian.
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