September 6, 2016
Sports Insider Weekly
After the dust had settled on the fourth preseason game and 22 more cuts had been made, Washington finalized its 53-man roster on Saturday.
While the roster, which could still change in the coming days or weeks, was fairly unsurprising, the list of cuts was. Longtime Redskins Logan Paulsen, an undrafted free agent who signed with the team after the 2010 draft, was unable to secure a tight end spot behind Jordan Reed, Niles Paul and off-season addition Vernon Davis.
Paulsen, who missed the entire 2015 season due to toe surgery, quickly found a new home in Chicago on Sunday.
Not all cuts were longtime team members. Less than a week after Cullen Jenkins, a 13-year league veteran, signed with the team he found himself once again looking for a job. They also let several promising rookies go, such as defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis, who was a fifth-round draft pick, and running back Mack Brown, whom the team didn’t have room for despite a strong preseason performance.
The Redskins, whose go-to running back the past few seasons Alfred Morris signed with the Cowboys in the offseason, currently have three running backs to choose from.
It is thought that both Brown and Ioannidis could make the practice squad, which would keep them with the team with the exception of suiting up for games.
One of the biggest surprises was that cuts such as Jenkins and Brown made room for Nate Sudfeld, a rookie quarterback drafted by Washington in the sixth round. While Sudfeld is a strong player, he is likely to be a bench-warmer for the foreseeable future barring any type of emergency. The Redskins remain committed to Kirk Cousins as their starter, with Colt McCoy as his backup. Perhaps the Redskins, who have had to play their third string quarterback in recent years are just playing it safe.
The Redskins play their first game of the regular season next Monday when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Serena Williams’ grand slam wins
While most people relaxed on Labor Day, Serena Williams was hard at work at the US Open. The No. 1 tennis star dominated Yaroslava Shvedova 6-2 6-3 in the fourth round of the tournament Monday to collect her 308th grand slam win. It pushed her past the currently injured Roger Federer to claim the top spot on the all-time list.
“I think it’s really exciting,” Williams said afterwards. “I just think winning 308 matches in general is pretty awesome. For that to be in a grand slam is pretty cool. It’s a huge number. I think it’s very significant actually. I think it’s something that just really talks about the length of my career, in particular. I’ve been playing for a really long time, but also, you know, given that consistency up there. That’s something that I’m really proud of.”
Williams, who turns 35 at the end of the month, continues to dominate the tennis world. After a rare disappointment in Rio – she excited in the first round of the Olympics – Serena appears to have bounced back and ready to accomplish her ultimate goal of becoming the first player to win 23 grand slam titles in the Open Era. Such a feat would place her just one major victory shy of Margaret Court’s all-time record.
While Serena is focusing on moving forward, she will do so knowing she will not face a familiar opponent on the court. The same day she celebrated her victory her older sister, Venus, suffered a heartbreaking loss in a third-set tiebreaker when she could not convert on match point. The tennis star is set to face No. 5 ranked Romanian Simona Halep in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.