Sunday, May 31, 2009

Redskins release Jansen

The Redskins released veteran offensive tackle Jon Jansen on Friday, a move that will result in an approximate cap hit of $6 million:

Coach Jim Zorn and a group of offensive assistants -- led by offensive coordinator Sherman Smith and offensive line coach Joe Bugel -- reached the decision about Jansen after evaluating performances during the team's minicamp and other workouts earlier this spring. That process culminated in a meeting yesterday morning at Redskins Park, for which Snyder dispatched his private plane to pick up Jansen, who makes his offseason home in Michigan.

"What we try to do is look at all the offensive linemen," Zorn said by phone yesterday. "You not only grade them, but you rank them. You go back and forth. What's the future look like here? The future looks more like it's the battle of Stephon Heyer, Mike Williams and Jeremy Bridges."

The Heyer-Williams-Bridges trio doesn't seem too reassuring, especially since Williams is currently still weighing in at 384 pounds after not playing for the last two seasons, but Jansen couldn't stay healthy and obviously wasn't the same player anymore, particularly in the pass-blocking department.

But Jansen, who played in Washington for 10 seasons, was quickly signed by the Detroit Lions. Now, he'll get the chance to earn a starting spot with another team while also returning home to Michigan.

In the face of such news, Jansen still remained the consummate professional that he was with the Redskins for those 10 years:

"When the day started, the hardest thing was finding out I wasn't going to be a Redskin anymore," Jansen said by phone. "And then the day took a pretty good turn for the better. . . . I think the timing [of the release] could've been better, but I don't think the result could've been better."

Hopefully Jansen is able to stay healthy and play a few more seasons in Detroit. If anyone has earned a second chance in the league, it's him.

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