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Redskins release Randy Thomas, Randle El

Updated at 4:56 p.m.

The Redskins core saw a major shake-up on Thursday afternoon. Just a couple of hours after Chris Samuels formally announced his retirement, the team began releasing several veterans who'd been a part of the Washington nucleus since Joe Gibbs still wore a headset here.

Randy Thomas and Antwaan Randle El are among the Redskins who are being released today, according to a league source. Earlier, Rock Cartwright was told he'd be released.

"Yeah, I just found out," Thomas said in a phone interview. "I'm not really surprised because this is the business. It's all about what have you done for me lately and I was hurt last year. So that's just the way it is.

"But I told myself I was either going to prepare to be a free agent or prepare to go to training camp [with the Redskins]. So I'm going to be prepared."

Thomas, 34, held down the starting right guard job since joining the team as a free agent in 2003, but he appeared in only two games in 2009 before a triceps tear ended his season early.

He earned $1.6 million in 2009 but was due $3.7 million in 2010, a high price that made it tough for the Redskins to retain him.

With Thomas' departure and Chris Samuels' retirement, also announced Thursday, the Redskins have now lost two starting offensive linemen who they've relied on the past several years.

Thomas was present at Redskins Park today and attended Samuels' retirement press conference. Coming from the Jets, Thomas was a considered a crucial cog to the
Redskins' productive running game during Joe Gibbs' second stint. Once considered particularly agile for a 300-pounder, Thomas excelled at pulling on the team's bread-and-butter stretch plays. But Thomas has played in more than three games only once in the past three seasons because of major injuries.

Although Thomas mostly spoke fondly of his time with the Redskins, he did express frustration with how the news of his release was handled. He said no one from the team informed him he would be released while he was at Redskins Park for Samuels' press conference.

"I mean, I was up there for Chris' party and no one said a word to me," Thomas said. "I was up there for all that time, and my agent was up there, so they just could have pulled us aside and said, 'Here's what we're doing.' But they didn't do that.

"They waited for me to get settled at home and then they called me and told me. I think the professional thing would have been just to tell me when I was up there for all that time. So I am a little bothered by that. But I pretty much had a good experience with the Redskins. That's what I'll remember."

Randle El, 30, was the team's versatile wide receiver and primary punt returner. He played the past four seasons with the Redskins, but as Coach Mike Shanahan installs his new offense, it's believed he prefers big receivers and Randle El was left with no obvious spot in the new system.

Randle El was also the primary punt returner, though his return numbers slipped dramatically from the early days of his career, much to the chagrin of fans. He was surprised by the team's move.

"I am a bit shocked," he said in a phone interview. "I thought that with a new GM and a new coach - I thought you'd be given a shot to show them what you can do. And I figured that with some of the younger guys who still haven't proven themselves, they would want to keep the veterans around.

"To be honest, I figured they would want to renegotiate and go from there. But at the same time, I had a high [salary] for next season, so this is what they decided to do. But I know I can still play. I just have to find a team that looks at me as an asset and wants me. That's the next step."

Randle El had 530 yards on 50 receptions. Last season marked the first time in his eight-year career that Randle El failed to notch at least one touchdown reception. He started only three games and was supplanted as the team's flanker before the season and moved to the slot.

He earned $1.5 million in 2009 and was due a base salary of $1.375 million in 2010.

By Rick Maese and Jason Reid  |  March 4, 2010; 4:23 PM ET
Categories:  Free agency , Jason Reid  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Redskins to release Rock Cartwright
Next: Redskins release Betts, Smoot

Comments

Also, the Redskins have released Antwaan Randle El, the slot receiver and primary punt returner

Dang it you beat me to it JReid

Posted by: Predator48 | March 4, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Bout time on R-El

Posted by: shanteefamilee | March 4, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Now this is getting fun. Bon Voyage, RT was awesome, one of the best pulling guards since the hogs. ARE well um, you always had funny interviews. Bye Bye

Posted by: Stu27 | March 4, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

http://twitter.com/RICKMAESE

Here's where the names are droppin, people.

Posted by: Predator48 | March 4, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Nothing to see here....

Posted by: skinball77 | March 4, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Maybe this solidifies our drafting of a OL

Posted by: shanteefamilee | March 4, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow... Watch the fall.

Here comes the overhaul.

Its frustrating to watch CP to slide through the cracks... but it doesn't make sense YET!

Posted by: EinVB | March 4, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

WooHoo! I mean, thanks for the work guys but...WooHoo!

Posted by: scampbell1975 | March 4, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

good moves, hate to see RT go, but overdue, get young, and get better....thats the goal...vincenzo woulda never had the stones to do this....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | March 4, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

And if as some allege it is true as that Little Danny wants to win in the worst possible way, some might also suggest that it could begin with the pruning of some deadwood that is just taking up roster space.


Posted by: Vic1

That's the problem, Vic. Danny trying to win "in the worst possible way."

Posted by: TheCork | March 4, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

From Rick Maese's twitter page..

RT @BradBiggs Word is Karlos Dansby has a flight to the Miami area late tonight. It's nice there this time of year. http://bit.ly/9RMiKU


Not good news for us who want Dansby on the squad. Looks like Parcells is trying to get his hooks in him first!

Posted by: Predator48 | March 4, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

well this is friendly

Posted by: Mr_Friendship | March 4, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

well this is friendly news

Posted by: Mr_Friendship | March 4, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

No way should they have released Randy. With our lack of depth on the O line, that's a stupid move.

Posted by: Lisa_R | March 4, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Antrel Rolle released, wonder if he gets any sniffs from around these parts.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | March 4, 2010 4:24 PM

They should wait to see what happens with OJ Atogwe first. He would be a better pickup.

Posted by: KingJoffeJoffer | March 4, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

WHO'S NEXT?

Posted by: wattsicon | March 4, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Randy Thomas can take Larry Michael's spot as host of Redskins Nation.

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8 | March 4, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Lito Shepperd released.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | March 4, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

From Rick Maese's twitter page..

RT @BradBiggs Word is Karlos Dansby has a flight to the Miami area late tonight. It's nice there this time of year. http://bit.ly/9RMiKU


Not good news for us who want Dansby on the squad. Looks like Parcells is trying to get his hooks in him first!

Posted by: Predator48 | March 4, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Much as he'll try, I'm not sure Parcells can sign Dansby without at least one trip to DC.

Posted by: frediefritz | March 4, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

JAmal Williams anybody??

Posted by: 4thFloor | March 4, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

No way should they have released Randy. With our lack of depth on the O line, that's a stupid move.

Posted by: Lisa_R | March 4, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse


We lacked depth because he was always hurt.

Posted by: Original_etrod | March 4, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Lisa, what part of this:

But Thomas has played in more than three games only once in the past three seasons

makes it a stupid move?? He's too injury prone and old at this point to be ANYTHING close to reliable....sorry, this was EXACTLY the type of move the team needed to make...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | March 4, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Great start, keep 'em coming!!

Posted by: stevek20147 | March 4, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

No way should they have released Randy. With our lack of depth on the O line, that's a stupid move.

Posted by: Lisa_R | March 4, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

You can't pay a player $3.7 mil, and only expect to get 3 games out of him. Skins can still negotiate with him, resign him to a more reasonable contract.

Posted by: frediefritz | March 4, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I guess Dan figured it wasn't worth paying Thomas over a mil. per game.

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8 | March 4, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

No way should they have released Randy. With our lack of depth on the O line, that's a stupid move.

Posted by: Lisa_R


Look at it this way, If they are so quick to release old linemen, then they're really going to be committed to hunting for some younger replacements.

Posted by: Predator48 | March 4, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

The guy hasn't played more than 3 games in 3 years but was scheduled to make over 3 million. How in the world is that stupid?

Posted by: ToddStinkston | March 4, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Get rid of the garbage.... I like Randy, but just too injury prone at this point.

Posted by: tony325 | March 4, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Lavar show just reported that bets and smoot were also cut

Posted by: luig214 | March 4, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Lavar show just reported that bets and smoot were also cut

Posted by: luig214 | March 4, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Big Mike Williams will be able to contribute more this year, now that he's had some time to adjust to being a svelte 300+ lb'er insteat of a chubby 400+ lb'er.

Posted by: Alan4 | March 4, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

This is a great start i cant wait till free agency starts..

I would sign the free agents in this order

1. Dansby
2. Peppers (assuming we trade Andre Carter)
3. Rolle
4. O LINE
5.O LINE
6. Nose Tackle

Posted by: PardenMiSwage | March 4, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I guess Dan figured it wasn't worth paying Thomas over a mil. per game.

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8


BAZINGA

Posted by: CheyenneWY | March 4, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

no sproles...check
rock gone..makes sense
thomas...makes sense
ARE..had to do it
portis not likely to be cut, well well well

i would just like to say I supported Kelly, Thomas, and Davis from day 1 on.

Posted by: pabrian2003 | March 4, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm squeezing my nipples again because I'm so happy Randle El is gone.

Posted by: iH8dallas | March 4, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

no Smoot too.

Posted by: _Stumped_ | March 4, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

betts and smoot..makes sense

take that espn

Posted by: pabrian2003 | March 4, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

JAmal Williams anybody??
Posted by: 4thFloor | March 4, 2010 4:36 PM

His health will be the issue.

Posted by: TWISI | March 4, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

RM says Betts will go too.

Real house cleaning starting to take place.

Posted by: _Stumped_ | March 4, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm squeezing my nipples again because I'm so happy Randle El is gone.

Posted by: iH8dallas | March 4, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse


Wow. The worst part of that statement is "again."

Posted by: Original_etrod | March 4, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Lavar show just reported that bets and smoot were also cut

Posted by: luig214 | March 4, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I hope you are not lying

Posted by: iH8dallas | March 4, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

keep it going shanny....get rid of all the old, rotting corpses....clean it up

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | March 4, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Lavar show just reported that bets and smoot were also cut

Posted by: luig214 | March 4, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I hope you are not lying

Posted by: iH8dallas | March 4, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm squeezing my nipples again because I'm so happy Randle El is gone.

Posted by: iH8dallas | March 4, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse


Wow. The worst part of that statement is "again."

Posted by: Original_etrod | March 4, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I do it when I get excited

Posted by: iH8dallas | March 4, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Pace yourself on the nips iH8, it's gonna be a long night!

Posted by: stevek20147 | March 4, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Now this is what rebuilding looks like. Let's keep it going.

Root for the team, not the player. Love some of these players, but I follow the Redskins!

HTTR!

Posted by: Curzon417 | March 4, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

how much cap space did they just clear

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | March 4, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

LaVar is whining about these cuts coinciding with any FA pick ups that might occur tonight. Give me a break. These guys had their exit papers stamped a while ago. It's time to move on from this core group of players.

Posted by: TWISI | March 4, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

beep - Betts and Smoot.

Posted by: Curzon417 | March 4, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

beep...betts, smoot

Posted by: stevek20147 | March 4, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

"The only thing irrational is your post. Sproles makes a living on his speed. His speed will be gone around the time he turns 30. It happens to everyone. The problem with him is that his speed is all he has. That was the same thing wrong with Randle El. Moss is a decent wide reciever even without the speed. I don't know if you've realized this but Moss has lost a step and he's still productive. The reason is that he isn't soley dependent on his speed like Sproles and ARE are. He is also a good route runner, catches the ball, and gets off the line of scrimmage. He can also block and break a tackle. Randle El only ever had speed.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | March 4, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse"

It's a moot point now as AJ Smith (one of the best in the business, by the way) realized the value of a 26-year-old RB who's skillset can only be matched by a baby's handful of players in this league, but that still doesn't diminish the utter incompetence of this post.

Randle El is not, was not, and has never been a speed player. Ever. He was an adequate slot receiver that relied on quickness, deception, and gadget plays to be effective in Pittsburgh's, and to a lesser extent, Washington's offense. He's a secondary possession receiver that moves the chains, and he always has been.

Sproles is a player whom offensive coordinators specifically design plays for in order to create mismatches in the open field with the intention of making "big plays". He's also a guy that defenses must scheme for when he's on the field, in the mold of Brian Westbrook in his rotational years with Deuce Staley, or Reggie Bush when he's not injured. Darren Sproles has zero resemblance to Randle El, other than neither of them are typical 'primary' players for their positions. In fact, Darren Sproles is almost the exact opposite player that Randle El was.

I don't know how you can possibly justify some of your arguments in your own head, but it's laughable that you can convince yourself that Darren Sproles is equivalent to Antwaan Randle El. I guess that's why one guy is getting tendered at over $8 million, while the other is being released at this very moment.

Posted by: psps23 | March 4, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Pace yourself on the nips iH8, it's gonna be a long night!

Posted by: stevek20147 | March 4, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I've got ice packs and cocoa butter lotion

Posted by: iH8dallas | March 4, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I just hope we don't count on Mr Heyer to be out starting RT. We need upgrades across the board in order: LT, RT, RG, C...

LT is a given. RT should be... BMW did much better in the RG position... but not sure he stays healthy. Rabach is on his way down... not sure he can cut it for another season.

Posted by: EinVB | March 4, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Could have used Smoot as a safety.... oh well.

The last I heard - a year or two ago - is that A Carter had a no-cut contract. Does that still apply???

Posted by: charley42 | March 4, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Lavar show just reported that bets and smoot were also cut

Posted by: luig214 | March 4, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I hope you are not lying

Posted by: iH8dallas | March 4, 2010 4:47

Not lying, they keep mentioning it on the lavar show Smoot, Betts, Thomas, ARE, and Rock have been cut

Posted by: luig214 | March 4, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Shanny apparently has been evaluateing the roster and he's got his opinion on the roster. New era new players on their way.

Posted by: sthai75 | March 4, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: psps23 | March 4, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

You are hilarious. In the same sentence you say that ARE is not a speed player AND you say that he relied on his quickness. hahaha!!! That's awesome. Then you bring up the fact that Sproles got 8 million tender. That's nothing like the $31 million 7 year deal ARE got huh?

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | March 4, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Great start.. though I can't really celebrate until Campbell is gone...

Posted by: sovine08 | March 4, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I would have cut Rogers over Smoot. Rogers is freakin' horrible. Otherwise, all these moves make sense.

Posted by: ar652 | March 4, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Great start.. though I can't really celebrate until Campbell is gone...

Posted by: sovine08 | March 4, 2010 5:28

I hope you don't get to celebrate!

Posted by: SPUD2 | March 4, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

What? No more Randle El dance on punt returns? Catch the ball, step to the right. Step to the left, and back to the right.
Do the Hokey Pokey, tackled for no gain, that's what it's all about!

Posted by: kls1 | March 4, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Randy Thomas has been a real pro and a class act while he has been here. It is time to move on. I hope he lands a job with a team ready to compete late into the playoffs, right now, who needs quality O-Line depth. He deserves that and could really help such a team.

Posted by: giscone | March 4, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Randy Thomas was playing at a really high level when Betts ran up his back and broke his leg. He was never the same after that. I wonder if, he's sitting out there for a really long time, and the Skins are short at guard, if he isn't invited back at a reduced salary?

Posted by: coparker5 | March 4, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

gotta love seeing ARE hit the highway. when he hit the wall a few years back he hit it hard.

Posted by: greatteamdan | March 4, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

"I am a bit shocked," he said in a phone interview. "I thought that with a new GM and a new coach - I thought you'd be given a shot to show them what you can do. And I figured that with some of the younger guys who still haven't proven themselves, they would want to keep the veterans around.
-------------
Randle, this attitude is why the Redskins have sucked as a team. The coaches challenged the skill position players and never the gave the younger players a chance. Now that every other team have you on tape, you will be watching football with the rest of us next.

Posted by: truthbeknown | March 4, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait for the clock to strike 12:00! I don't see them going after a big free agent LT, so my money is on Okung or Anthony Davis with that 4th pick. The second pick could go a couple of different ways.

If Haslett has a chance to plead his case, he'll probably be pining for Mt. Cody. I, for one, think he's the answer to the "who will play NT in the 3-4" question. He's played in a pro-style 3-4 for two years and commanded triple teams most of the time. He would have to prove he's committed to staying in shape, which is something he dealt with when transferring from a juco to 'Bama. He & Orakpo would be at the heart of a youth movement on D, and very formidable up front and on the strong side especially.

Shanahan, however, may want go RB, and hopefully Ryan Matthews will still be on the board. He seemed to impress all the right people at the combine and could be the RB of the future/present for the Skins. I think the HC knows he can get a later round pick to perform at a high level, so he may not wanna go RB this early.

If either of those scenarios played out, it would still leave the right side of the line unaddressed. Maybe Rinehart can step in for Randy Thomas, assuming he's healthy, and be the guy Bugel thought he could be. To put it mildly, Stephon Heyer is still a suspect RT, so Shanahan may want an immediate upgrade at that spot.

I do feel like every angle is being covered, and the front office is exercising due diligence...for the first time since Gibbs II left. It's similar to Andy MacPhail in Baltimore in that the second he took over, a noticeable plan with his own distinct fingerprint was clearly visible. We have direction and structure, so I feel we'll surprise alot of people with our maneuvering.


Posted by: KellRawLive | March 4, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

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