|By Gary Fitzgerald |
| August 28, 2007 |
The Redskins have reduced their roster to the league-mandated 75 players by releasing four players, including veteran defensive tackle Joe Salave'a.
The team also waived fullback Pete Schmitt and placed offensive lineman Ross Tucker and wide receiver Jason McAddley on injured reserve.
Salave'a's release comes as a mild surprise--the native of American Samoa was a popular players in the locker room and among fans.
"We felt like it was real crowded at the tackle position and if we let Joe go now, in the first cut, then he would have a chance to catch on with another team," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "It's awful tough.
"But it's something where you have to do what's best for the team. Sometimes there are some real tough decisions in there."
Salave'a is a 9-year NFL veteran who entered the league as a fourth-round draft choice with Tennessee. He also played one season with San Diego before joining the Redskins in 2004.
When assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams was the defensive coordinator at Tennessee, he helped draft Salave'a. In 2004, Williams then recruited Salave'a to come to Washington as a free agent.
Said Williams: "We have some young guys here that were doing better, so we decided to make that move and we wanted to make sure Joe had a chance to hook on someplace else. I wish him the best, because he and I are real close."
This preseason, the Redskins have uncovered some quality, young depth along the defensive line. Last year, Salave'a was replaced in the lineup by Kedric Golston, a sixth-round draft pick who started 13 games.