For the first few months Redskins GM Scot McCloughan mostly showed his warm and fuzzy side, praising players and adding to the roster via the draft and free agency. Wednesday, that all changed, when McCloughan made the decision to cut two veteran players from the Redskins in guard Chris Chester and cornerback Tracy Porter.
Neither player was a fan favorite, but for different reasons.
Chester was a serviceable guard for the last four seasons, and durable too, starting all 16 games for the 'Skins from 2011 to 2014. Chester was a better run blocker than pass blocker, and while he was part of the team that won seven straight and took the 2012 NFC East crown, Chester never played near an All-Pro type level either.
Releasing Chester comes at an interesting time for Washington, however, as it means Jay Gruden will likely be forced to start second year man Spencer Long at right guard, unless other position shuffling ends up happening. It's also possible rookies Brandon Scherff and Arie Kouandjio force their way into starting roles, or a player like Josh LeRibeus finally forces his way onto the field. The smart money, though, remains on Long replacing Chester. Interestingly, if Long and Scherff go on to start at right guard and tackle as many predict, the Redskins right side of the line will have zero career NFL starts between the two players.
Chester wasn't great, but he filled a role. That is more than can be said for Tracy Porter.
Signed as a free agent in 2014, Porter played just three games last season. Where the Redskins certainly could have used Porter in 2014, the seven year veteran had no real role, and in turn, it's hard to say the team will miss him.
McCloughan added corner Chris Culliver from San Francisco, and if DeAngelo Hall returns with a clean bill of health, it's hard to see a roster with space for Porter competing against Culliver, Hall, David Amerson, Bashaud Breeland and rookie sixth round pick Tevin Mitchell. The Porter cut just cements that thought from the front office.
More cuts could come, it's the nature of the NFL, and that could include some big names. It's always worth noting what players hold marginal roster spots that were brought in from previous regimes, especially when it seems McCloughan has drafted or added through free agency an obvious replacement.
What do you think of Wednesday's cuts? Is cutting Chester a risky move? What about Porter? Let us know what you think in the comments.