Redskins surprisingly cut 2018 leading tackler Mason Foster right before camp

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.

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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.

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.

Washington Redskins linebacker Mason Foster was cut on Tuesday. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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