Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at email@example.com.
Redskins release Marko Mitchell, Anthony Montgomery, three others
With coach Mike Shanahan’s second minicamp set to begin on Friday, the Redskins released five players this morning. Wide receiver Marko Mitchell and defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery headline a list of cuts that includes running backs Anthony Alridge and P.J. Hill and receiver James Robinson.
Mitchell’s release is the most intriguing. The seventh-round pick showed some promise as a rookie last summer in training camp and preseason games, but Shanahan apparently wasn’t convinced.
Mitchell in practice demonstrated good hands and an ability to adjust to the ball in the air. He quickly became a fan favorite after leading the Redskins in the preseason with three touchdowns and 113 receiving yards.
His regular-season contribution, however, was modest, at best. The wiry wideout had only four catches for 32 yards in 10 games. The Redskins limited the routes Mitchell ran in games–only slants and an occasional fade–as they waited for him to improve his route-running ability.
Mitchell’s lack of special teams experience also didn’t bode well for his chances of making Shanahan’s team. He was drafted out of Nevada without having played much on kick coverage units, and that’s a big-time negative for a receiver at the bottom of the depth chart.
That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mitchell is on some team’s opening day roster because of his speed, height (6-4) and hands.
Montgomery’s Redskins tenure reached an anticlimactic end after four years. The former fifth-round pick started 22 of 41 games the last four seasons, totaling 93 tackles, three sacks and two fumble recoveries. However, he fell out of favor with the organization last year after being limited by a left knee injury. The Redskins tried to trade him but could not find a partner.
The Redskins tendered Montgomery at his original draft-round level this offseason, and I was eager to see whether he’d be able to revive his career as a nose tackle in the new 3-4 front. At 6-6, 330, Montgomery was one of few incumbents on the roster who had proven he could anchor against double teams.
Alridge had ties to Shanahan in Denver, yet they ostensibly weren’t strong enough to ensure his roster spot. He fumbled the ball too often in training camp and preseason last year, but he was added to the practice squad midseason after failing to make the team out of camp. He provided some much-needed speed to the Redskins running-back depth chart, but that apparently will have to come from somewhere else.