Following Tuesday’s cuts, the Washington Redskins are still stacked at wide receiver.
Malcolm Kelly was the only receiver among the nine players waived by the team.
As such, 10 receivers remain on the roster, including veteran Donté Stallworth.
The ninth-year player is the third most experienced player at the position behind Santana Moss and Jabar Gaffney who are each entering their 10th NFL season.
It’s one of the few positions where youth hasn’t given way to veteran leadership.
Still, given the young direction Mike Shanahan is taking the franchise, Stallworth could be facing an uphill battle to survive the more extensive cuts coming on Saturday when rosters must be trimmed to 53 players.
Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may prove crucial for his chances of making the squad, ironically putting him in the same position as many of the rookies and younger players.
Stallworth’s experience will help him both mentally prepare for the game as well as execute on the field Thursday night–a luxury his younger teammates do not yet have.
He showed flashes of his younger days in the preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers when hauled in three passes for 46 yards. He added a nice 23-yard catch the following week against the Indianapolis Colts.
Couple those performances with his effort in training camp and eight previous seasons of film and there’s not a lot veteran hasn’t shown coaches.
“I don’t know I have anything left to prove,” Stallworth said of his mentality heading into the final preseason game. “I just want to go out and execute whatever is called. I love playing this game. I’ve been playing it for a really long time. Very passionate about it. I think this team has a really good opportunity to do something special this year and I want to be a part of it. I just gotta go out and show the coaches I know what I’m doing and I can make plays and help this team win some games this year.”
Head coach Mike Shanahan said he doesn’t know exactly how many receivers the team will keep this season. Typically the Redskins carry six players at the position.
Santana Moss, Jabar Gaffney, Anthony Armstrong and third-round pick Leonard Hankerson all appear locked in, leaving just two open spots in theory.
Second-year player Terrence Austin isn’t making it easy on the coaches to cut him and seems a likely candidate for a spot on the team as well.
Austin filled in reasonably well for the injured Brandon Banks on kick returns in the past two games, but has truly excelled as a wide receiver where he has 10 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown this preseason.
His addition to the roster would bring the Redskins receiver tally up to five, leaving Stallworth, Niles Paul, Aldrick Robinson and the aforementioned Banks to compete for the sixth receiver spot.
Certainly it’s a crowded position that Shanahan and staff will have a difficult time deciding upon.
So what are Stallworth’s odds of making the Redskins?
“I think there’s a chance,” he said. “That’s all you can ask for. I think I’ve worked hard enough to put myself in a position to be considered. That’s all I can ask.”
A little later on today Football News Now will post our conversation with Stallworth about his musical taste. Eclectic is an understatement.
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