Most significant move: Offensive tackle Willie Smith had a good chance to impress the Washington Redskins' coaches when he started the second preseason game at left tackle versus Detroit. But the night went poorly and, ever since then, Smith’s job status was in jeopardy.
Smith allowed too much pressure and while quarterback Robert Griffin III’s pocket movement didn’t help, the pressure started because of the left tackle’s failures. The Redskins had been rotating tackles behind starter Trent Williams, but after Smith’s start he was relegated to third-string duty. His fate had been sealed.
Smith entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with Washington in 2011 -- he started the final three games that season thanks to a Williams injury. But the Redskins released him the following summer and he spent time with Oakland and then, San Diego, in 2013.
Deciding battles: The Redskins released kicker Ty Long, who never really served as a major threat to Kai Forbath. Though Forbath had some shaky days in training camp, Long was never consistent enough to pose a problem. Forbath’s kickoffs remain an issue, so there’s always a chance they could bring in another kicker after final cuts. Also, the Redskins waived three tight ends, including two who had been with them all camp: Devin Mahina and Chase Dixon. Mahina had never shown a whole lot in practice and Dixon was replaced by Derek Carrier and D.J. Williams, who was acquired after Niles Paul was hurt.
What’s next: The tough decisions must be made by 4 p.m. Saturday when the Redskins need to trim the roster to 53. Some players will present the Redskins with a tough decision, including receiver Rashad Ross and running back Trey Williams. Ross has had a productive summer, making more plays in the receiving game than rookie Evan Spencer, for example. If the Redskins keep six receivers, one of them would have to be cut. But if they keep seven they could both stick. As for Williams, it’ll be tough because he’s firmly behind the first three backs -- Alfred Morris, Matt Jones and Chris Thompson. It’ll be interesting to see what else they do along the offensive line -- how many they keep and if they’ll keep nine or 10 at this position. They need to keep Tom Compton, unless they find another alternative as a blocking tight end.
Redskins cuts: TE Ernst Brun, Jr., LB Dyshawn Davis, TE Chase Dixon, CB Tajh HaTsson, LB Alonzo Highsmith, CB DreQuan Hoskey, WR Tony Jones, K Ty Long, TE Devin Mahina, G Bryce Quigley, CB Trey Wolfe, CB Bryan McCann, T Willie Smith.