Redskins cut 13, including McCants

Arundel alumnus played three seasons as receiver

Pro Football

August 30, 2005|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins released 13 players yesterday, including wide receiver and Gambrills native Darnerien McCants.

McCants, an Arundel High School alumnus who was selected by the Redskins in the fifth round (No. 154 overall) of the 2001 draft, played in 29 games in three seasons with the team.

Last year, however, McCants was deactivated for 10 games and registered five receptions for 71 yards partly because he did not play on special teams.

This preseason, McCants caught three passes for 29 yards. In the team's 17-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday, 10 players caught passes, but McCants had none.

"We made up our mind that we were going in a different direction with our receivers," said coach Joe Gibbs, who signed the 6-foot-3, 215-pound wide-out to a three-year, $4.5 million deal with a $2 million signing bonus before the 2004 season.

"We felt like we had some other players that fit the role and do a lot of things for us."

McCants' best year was coach Steve Spurrier's last in 2003, when he caught 27 passes for 360 yards and tied for the team lead in touchdown receptions with six.

Washington also cut linebackers Clifton Smith and Jared Newberry and kicker Jeff Chandler. Smith spent most of the 2003 season on the practice squad and missed last season with a torn triceps tendon. Newberry was the team's sixth-round pick (No. 183 overall) out of Stanford in April's draft.

Chandler signed with the Redskins in December, when kicker John Hall was placed on the injured-reserve list with a torn right quadriceps muscle. Chandler, who converted five of six field-goal attempts last year, was supposed to challenge Hall this preseason.

But Hall has made all three of his field-goal tries this preseason, and Chandler missed his only attempt.

The Redskins also released running backs Jonathan Combs and Brock Forsey, defensive linemen Charles Howard and Jerome Nichols, quarterback Bryson Spinner, wide receiver Steven Harris, tight end Billy Baber, offensive lineman Josh Warner and cornerback Charles Byrd.

NOTES: Strong safety Matt Bowen (bruised ribs), wide receiver Taylor Jacobs (sprained toe), cornerback Ade Jimoh (shoulder stinger) and running back Ladell Betts (pulled leg muscle) did not wear pads or practice. Rookie linebacker Robert McCune left practice with a groin injury, according to Gibbs. ... Punter Tom Tupa has missed the past two preseason games with an injured back, so Washington signed punter Chris Mohr. The 16-year veteran will challenge second-year player Andy Groom.

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