Redskins cut Farris, Espy

Wide receivers play well, but team has depth at the position

September 03, 2006|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Sun Reporter

Numbers, not necessarily performance, dictated the final roster cuts the Washington Redskins made yesterday.

While fullback Nehemiah Broughton, safety Reed Doughty and offensive lineman Ikechuku Ndukwe made the 53-player roster despite some glaring mistakes in the preseason, wide receivers Jimmy Farris and Mike Espy were among the 21 released, in large part because of the position they play.

Broughton survived despite watching a potential touchdown pass from Todd Collins slip off his fingertips in Thursday's 17-10 preseason loss to the Ravens. Doughty got caught for a 52-yard flea flicker in the team's opening exhibition loss at Cincinnati, and Ndukwe was part of a backup offensive line that provided little protection for the quarterbacks.

Still, injuries to tailback Clinton Portis and cornerback Shawn Springs precipitated head coach Joe Gibbs keeping an extra player in the offensive and defensive backfields. Cornerback Kenny Wright, whose starting job might be in jeopardy with the arrival of Mike Rumph, also survived.

Espy, a rookie free agent from Mississippi, might have been the biggest surprise not to make the team after having a strong preseason as a receiver and kick returner that was capped off by a 4-yard touchdown reception from Collins Thursday night. Farris, who led the Redskins in receptions during the preseason, was cut for the second straight season.

Both have a chance to be named to the team's eight-player practice squad, which will be announced today.

Among the other players cut yesterday was offensive lineman Kili Lefotu, a seventh-round draft pick who made national headlines during training camp last month after being found unconscious in his dorm room. Lefotu, who was hospitalized for two days and later returned to practice, was diagnosed with sleep apnea.

A pair of 2005 draft picks, fullback Manuel White Jr. and linebacker Robert McCune, were both waived, with their own injuries playing a role. White, a former fourth-round pick, missed all of last season. McCune, a a former fifth-round choice, missed time during preseason this year after being signed off the practice squad last November.

The Redskins finished the preseason 0-4 - one of only two NFL teams not to win an exhibition game - and now will get ready for their regular season opener a week from tomorrow night against the Minnesota Vikings. Gibbs, who was not available for comment yesterday, will discuss his team's roster when he meets with reporters at Redskins Park tomorrow.

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