Skins cut leading tackler Mason Foster

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The Washington Redskins cut veteran linebacker Mason Foster Tuesday, one day before players are scheduled to report for training camp, a source confirmed to ESPN.

The move saves Washington $4 million against the salary cap. Foster, who led the team in tackles last season, had been on the bubble throughout the offseason. The Redskins debated cutting him before free agency, but wanted to keep him around as insurance in case they needed a veteran starter. After Reuben Foster tore his ACL during spring workouts, they signed Jon Bostic and liked what they saw from him.

The news of Mason Foster’s release was first reported by Erin Hawksworth.

The Redskins also have Shaun Dion Hamilton, who can play both inside linebacker spots, and drafted Cole Holcomb in the fifth round. Mason Foster was viewed as a two-down linebacker who struggled in coverage. He said in the spring he had lost at least 15 pounds, trying to gain quickness.

Also, the Redskins could use the cap savings to possibly re-do tackle Trent Williams‘ contract. After releasing Foster, they’ll have approximately $12 million cap space. Williams will likely miss the start of training camp as he remains upset over some of his medical care. It’s uncertain if a new deal would appease him, however. He has two years remaining on his current contract.

The Redskins also want to extend guard Brandon Scherff, who is entering the final year of his contract. The sides started talking in January.

Foster started all 16 games for Washington last season, leading the team in tackles with 131. He started 38 games overall in his four seasons with the Redskins. He spent the first four years of his career as a starting linebacker with Tampa Bay. The Redskins picked him up after Chicago cut him in the summer of 2015.

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