The Redskins released Malcolm Kelly today as they reduced their roster to the league limit of 80 players.
The move was not at all surprising as it was widely expected that the Redskins would give up on the physically talented but often-injured receiver.
Kelly was a second-round pick of the Redskins in 2008. Although he was a productive receiver at Oklahoma, injuries have plagued him throughout his NFL career. Some members of the Redskins’ medical staff recommended that the team take Kelly off of its draft board due to what they saw as a chronic condition in his knee.
But Vinny Cerrato, then the team’s head of personnel, liked Kelly’s 6-4 height and believed that the would provide the team’s receiving corps with some size, an attribute it had lacked for quite some time.
Kelly did beat out fellow ’08 second-rounder Devin Thomas for the starting job coming out of training camp in 2009. He was one of the least-productive starters in the league that year. In 16 games with 10 starts, Kelly caught 25 passes for 347 yards and no touchdowns.
He never got a chance to show anything to new head coach Mike Shanahan. A pulled hamstring severely limited him in training camp and he ended up spending the year on injured reserve. This year he suffered a foot injury about a week into training camp and has not practiced since.
Mike Shanahan said that the team did reach an injury settlement with Kelly, allowing him to release him even though he was injured.
Also released were offensive linemen Xavier Fulton and Corey O'Daniel, quarterback Ben Chappell, kicker Clint Stitser linebacker Eric McBride, defensive backs Dante Barnes and Tyrone Grant and tight end Joe Torchia.
There are three more players that have been released but those moves have not yet been announced.
Kelly’s release leaves just four of the 10 players the Redskins drafted in 2008 on the roster. Only tight end Fred Davis (round 2), safeties Kareem Moore (6) and Chris Horton (7), and linebacker Rob Jackson (7) remain.
There may be fewer than that left when the final roster is set on Saturday. Moore is expected to go on the PUP list, shelving him for at least six weeks while Horton and Jackson are both in close fights for their jobs.