NFL

NFL AM: Redskins Part With Riley, Paea

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Redskins Let Go Of Starters

With NFL teams pruning their rosters to get down to the league mandated 75, before Saturday’s final cut to 53, there have been a few surprise names on the waiver wire.  Two of which came from Washington, as the Redskins let go of linebacker Perry Riley, Jr. and defensive tackle Stephen Paea.

Riley spent each of his seven professional seasons in Washington and became a full-time starter at inside linebacker back in 2012 when the team won the NFC East title.  He has been one of the league’s better tacklers throughout his career and at 28 years old, it’s likely that he will land somewhere else.  Riley will count for slightly over $1 million of dead money for this season.

Paea was a former second-round pick of the Chicago Bears who signed with Washington in free agency last season.  The 6-foot-1, 310 pound lineman can play both inside and outside but has never lived up to his draft status.  The Redskins placed him on injured reserve in December of last season with a Grade 2 toe sprain.

With a need for big men all over the NFL, it’s likely that Paea will find a home on some NFL team.  For keeping him just one season, Washington will face a total of $3.75 million in dead money, $1.25 million on this year’s cap and $2.5 million in 2017.

This could pave the way for a potential reunion with journeyman defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, who was released from the Patriots earlier in the week.

Chargers Bid Farewell With Mettenberger

Just a year and a half ago, former LSU signal caller Zach Mettenberger was considered a real candidate to be the starting quarterback of the Tennessee Titans.

Last April the team drafted Marcus Mariota with the No. 2 overall pick and the writing was clearly on the wall.

Mettenberger was waived from Tennessee last season and then signed with his former head coach Ken Whisenhunt, who is the San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator.  The relationship with Whiz was not enough to keep Mettenberger employed as the team notified him that they would waive him on Tuesday.

Mettenberger hadn’t played since the team’s preseason opener against the Titans where the quarterback was picked off by safety Kevin Byard.

San Diego is now down to three quarterbacks on their roster as veteran Kellen Clemens and Arizona State rookie Mike Bercovici will be vying for the backup duties to Philip Rivers.

The future is a bit murky for the former college star as there isn’t much of a market for an erratic, yet strong-armed quarterback who likes taking selfies.

It’s unclear whether the Chargers will keep two or three quarterbacks on the roster as Bercovici is practice squad eligible.

Jaguars Part Ways With Werner

Former first-round pick Bjorn Werner is one of the numerous stains on Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson’s draft record.

The good news for Grigson is that he didn’t give up on him too soon as Werner didn’t make it past the first round of cuts for the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team with major issues rushing the passer.

Werner was let go by the team on his birthday as he failed to make much of an impact in the team’s three previous preseason games.

He is the ultimate “tweener” who isn’t fast enough to play outside linebacker and not strong enough to play with his hand on the ground.  It’s unlikely that there will be much of a market for him.

Jaguars Start Beachum At LT

When the Jacksonville Jaguars signed offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum in free agency, they said there would be an open competition for the left tackle position between him and former second-overall pick Luke Joeckel.

It appears that the competition is over, as the Jaguars have named Beachum as the starting left tackle.

Beachum played in just one preseason game, Sunday night against Cincinnati and looked pretty good.  Joeckel played left tackle in the previous two games and was his usual inconsistent self.  On Sunday the team moved him inside to left guard and that’s where they’re going to start him, according to the report.

The only problem with the Jaguars plan is that Joeckel is a mediocre offensive tackle, and a terrible offensive guard.  He was destroyed early and often by the Bengals’ Geno Atkins and although he’s a great player, Joeckel showed no confidence that he could even be serviceable on the inside.

If Joeckel can’t get the job done inside, the team will likely look toward veteran free agent pickup Mackenzie Bernadeau to fill the role.

Bengals Release Brandon Tate

The Cincinnati Bengals made somewhat of a surprise move as they let go of veteran return man Brandon Tate.

Tate has been with the Bengals since 2011 and is the franchise’s all-time leader in punt returns with 1,411 yards. He had a career average of 9.2 yards per return on 149 attempts in his career.

“He’s been a guy that’s been essential to what we’ve done over the last couple years,” Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth said. “He’s been a pro’s pro, a great example and leader for the guys. He will be missed. Definitely I think a guy that helped us probably more than people realized.”

He is second in franchise history in kick-return yards with 3,517. He also caught 57 passes for 901 yards with six touchdowns.

“We have to make the decisions we feel are best for the team, but sometimes they are tough ones,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said.  “Brandon has been a tremendous pro and a big part of the success our team has had the last five years.  We wish him the very best.”

Tate should be able to catch on with some other team as he is a very good special teams player.  With that said, don’t look for him to sign before Week 1 as his salary would be fully guaranteed.

The team also placed rookie defensive tackle Andrew Billings from Baylor on injured reserve.  Billings suffered a knee injury in practice on August 10.  The fourth round pick was projected by some to go as high as Round 1, and it’s been a tough few months for the 6-foot-1, 311 pound prospect.

 


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.