The move, which comes as only a mild surprise, gives the Redskins another $1.07 million in cap space for the coming year. Johnson is the third known player cut by the Redskins on Washington, joining Robert Griffin III ($16.155 million in cap relief) and defensive end Jason Hatcher ($4.2 million).
Last spring Johnson signed a two-year, $2.5 million contract and entered the offseason positioned to compete for the starting strong safety job. Johnson, who had spent the first four years of his career as a backup on defense and special teams standout for Seattle, never lived up to expectations in Washington, however.
Johnson failed to beat Duke Ihenacho out at strong safety. When Ihenacho got hurt, rookie sixth-round pick Kyshoen Jarrett leapfrogged Johnson on the depth chart. DeAngelo Hall eventually converted from cornerback to safety and finished out the year as the starter.
Meanwhile, with free agency approaching, the Redskins remained in talks with a number of their own players that have expiring contracts.
The team would like to re-sign cornerback Will Blackmon, who last season recorded 49 tackles, a sack, three forced fumbles and two interceptions while making 10 starts, and inside linebacker Mason Foster, who had 37 tackles and a forced fumble while starting the final five games of the season. The Redskins also have interest in re-signing backup quarterback Colt McCoy.
Last Friday, the team extended the one-year tenders to exclusive-rights free agents Will Compton, who finished the year as the starting inside linebacker next to Foster, punter Tress Way and running back Chris Thompson. All three are expected to sign the agreements; given their status as exclusive-rights free agents, their only options are to re-sign or retire.
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