As Washington trimmed its roster down a couple of guys on Tuesday, the club let go of one former draft pick whose tenure with the organization was much-maligned.
Troy Apke, who joined the franchise in 2018 as a fourth-round selection out of Penn State, was among those that the Commanders released in their first batch of cuts.
The 27-year-old had yet to participate in training camp this summer due to a calf injury that's sidelined him from the beginning of it.
Apke entered the NFL as a safety with one elite trait — his speed — and though he developed into a valuable special-teamer in his career, he never really contributed anything memorable on the field.
The same can be said for almost every other prospect that he came to Washington with:
Despite his lack of true impact, Apke stuck around through Jay Gruden's time as coach and, up until Tuesday, did the same under Ron Rivera. Rivera went as far as labeling Apke "one of the best" kick and punt coverage athletes in the entire sport last September.
"People have to game plan for him," Rivera said.
Those types of seemingly overly-kind remarks as well as Apke's inability to ever legitimately crack the rotation on defense — he started seven times as a safety in 2020 in an experiment that was rather miserable — drove plenty of Washington fans to wonder why he was kept around.
But with a growing crowd in the secondary — the safety depth chart for 2022 is crowded with young options like Percy Butler, Jeremy Reaves and Darrick Forrest, all of whom could provide depth — and a surplus of other stalwarts for special teams coordinator Nate Kaczor to choose from, Apke officially became expendable on Tuesday.