WASHINGTON — The Redskins have released offensive guard Chris Chester and cornerback Tracy Porter, according to multiple NFL sources.
Chester, 32, has been the starter at right guard since 2011, a smart, durable presence on the offensive line. But his play slipped the past two seasons and by releasing him Washington saves $4 million against the NFL salary cap. Chester had $800,000 guaranteed remaining on his $4.8 million contract.
Porter, meanwhile, missed the majority of his only season in Washington. The veteran cornerback signed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Redskins last offseason, but played in just three games.
Expected to be the primary corner in nickel packages, Porter, 28, struggled with a hamstring injury sustained in training camp and his season ended on Nov. 26 when placed on injured reserve. Porter had suffered an AC joint separation in his right shoulder during a Nov. 23 game at San Francisco.
Chester worked with the starting group on the first day of organized team activities (OTAs) at Redskins Park on Tuesday. But the team has stockpiled options behind him.
Spencer Long, a 2014 third-round pick from Nebraska, was active in three games last season. At 6-foot-5, 311 pounds, he is a bigger man than Chester at 6-3, 303 pounds. Long wasn’t ready to challenge Chester last season during training camp. He is in prime shape to take over at right guard now.
Another option would be moving tackle Morgan Moses, another third-round selection in 2014, to guard. Moses is coming off surgery to repair a Lisfranc sprain in his left foot. The Redskins also drafted Alabama guard Arie Kouandjio, a DeMatha High graduate, in the fourth round this month.
But Long appears a better fit for the power running scheme new offensive line coach Bill Callahan prefers. When asked about his situation at guard during the NFL owners’ meetings in Phoenix in March, Washington coach Jay Gruden said he expected Long to take a step forward in 2015 with a year of experience.
“Chris Chester is still on our team and we expect Spencer Long to have an excellent offseason,” Gruden said. “Come in better shape. When you come from your rookie to second year, that’s the biggest jump a lot of times you have to make as a football player.”
Added Gruden: “It’s probably the same in head coaching too. It’s a big jump. You get your feet wet and you get to understand about being a pro and what goes into the preparation and being successful as a rookie and then you feel better your second year coming in. We’re hoping Morgan and Spencer alike make a great transition into their second year and compete.”
Porter was not at OTAs on Tuesday and the reason given by Gruden was a missed flight. Cutting him saves $2.29 million against the salary cap, giving the Redskins $6.29 million in savings in one day.
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