Teams generally don’t wait until July 23 to cut a possible starting inside linebacker.
But the Washington Redskins did it on Tuesday, releasing Mason Foster in a surprising move, according to multiple reports. Foster wasn’t guaranteed to start again, but Washington is thin at the position after Reuben Foster’s season-ending knee injury, and Mason Foster did start all 16 games last season.
The timing was unusual. Most teams wouldn’t wait until the eve of training camp to make a decision like that. Foster’s agent was not happy.
If you ever want to doubt that there is zero good faith in the @nfl business look no further then the @Redskins cutting Mason Foster today, the day he was heading to report for camp. 9 year veteran, captain of the defense, played 99% of the snaps last season and cannot— Blake Baratz (@blakebaratz) July 23, 2019
even get a straight answer as to why. Keep in mind the team has been off for 5 weeks & he was the starting MLB the entire off season. I operate in good faith as a human being & as a business, I expect more from the @nfl and certain organizations in particular, we can be better.— Blake Baratz (@blakebaratz) July 23, 2019
Mason Foster was a full-time player
Foster was productive in 2018. He played 1,014 snaps, playing every single defensive snap in 13 of Washington’s 16 games. He played 98.2 percent of Washington’s snaps, racking up 131 tackles and two interceptions.
Foster wasn’t guaranteed to start this season, however. The team has Jon Bostic and Shaun Dion Hamilton at inside linebacker. Foster has experience and isn’t a liability, and Reuben Foster’s injury seemed to ensure they’d keep him around for depth.
But with camp about to start, the Redskins moved on.
Redskins save $4 million on salary cap
The Redskins save $4 million in salary-cap space by cutting Foster, though it’s hard to figure out what they’d spend those savings on. Perhaps it could be used to end a standoff with veteran left tackle Trent Williams, who is holding out.
It’s a tough spot for Foster to be in. He’s 30 and teams have made most of their main roster decisions well before camps start. Washington did him no favors by making a move it could have made months ago.
Players will come and go over the next few weeks as camps and preseason get going. It was a surprise, however, what the Redskins did Tuesday.
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