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After Taking Two Quarterbacks In NFL Draft, Redskins Release John Beck

By ZAC BOYER | | @ZacBoyer

ASHBURN – Quarterback John Beck, who played in four games for the Washington Redskins last season and started three, has been released by the team, head coach Mike Shanahan confirmed Saturday.


Beck, set to enter his third season with the Redskins, was made expendable when the team drafted Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft and then added Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins in the fourth round.

Shanahan said he alerted Beck to the possibility he may be moved when the team reported for voluntary workouts two weeks ago.

“I talked to him about there’s a number of possibilities,” Shanahan said, “but [told him] ‘I’ll be very upfront with you and honest with you – I can’t tell you exactly what we’re gonna do, but if I do make a decision to go a different direction, I’ll call you as soon as I make that decision and your agent will know so you can do the best thing for you.’”

The team then released Beck not long after Cousins was drafted, which was shortly after 1 p.m. on Saturday.

“I thought I owed it to John before the draft was over, when we made the decision to go this way, to let John know or let his agent know that he’s able to talk to somebody as quick as he can,” Shanahan said. “If somebody wants John instead of drafting somebody, they’d have the ability to [get a quarterback] without drafting one beforehand.”

Beck was perceived by Shanahan to be the Redskins’ starting quarterback leading into last season, but when the team was able to sign Rex Grossman to a new contract, the two competed for the job.

Grossman won and was named the starter, but he was replaced by Beck in an Oct. 16 loss to Philadelphia after throwing four interceptions. Beck then started the next three games before being replaced again by Grossman for the Nov. 13 game at Miami – Beck’s former team.

Beck completed 80 of 132 passes (60.6 percent) for 858 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions. He also ran 10 times for 43 yards and two touchdowns, and he spoke at length when the season ended about a determination to learn from the mistakes he made during the season and returning ready to compete for the starting job beginning this April.

“I don’t think you can ever say, ‘Was it fair or not?’, because this business isn’t about things always being fair,” Beck said on Jan. 2, a day after the Redskins’ season ended. “It’s about finding a way to win, finding a way to get better. That’s what I look forward to … so I feel like when I get my next opportunity, whenever it does come – I don’t know when it will come – but when I do get another one, I can play better and help the team win.”

Beck was acquired via trade with Baltimore before the 2010 season and served as the Redskins’ third quarterback. He was originally drafted by Miami in the second round in 2007 and was scheduled to make $1 million in the final year of a three-year, $3.351 million contract he signed in Sept. 2010.