Adam Carriker was confident in his recovery from surgeries that might have sidelined others long ago. But if he plays this season, it'll be at a much lower price.
The Washington Redskins released Carriker and punter Sav Rocca, freeing up more cash a week prior to the start of free agency. Washington also released its seventh-round draft pick from 2013, running back Jawan Jamison.
Carriker's release wasn't a surprise, considering the defensive end missed all of last season as well as the final 14 regular-season games in 2012. He tore his right quadriceps in Week 2 of 2012 and needed three surgeries to repair the injury. Carriker was released with a failed physical designation.
The Redskins will not seek to re-sign Carriker, according to a team source.
The Redskins contemplated releasing Carriker before last season, saying privately that few players could return from such a scenario. But his work ethic persuaded them to keep him.
Carriker's release saves the Redskins $2.98 million against the salary cap. He was scheduled to have a cap number of $6.5 million this season. Carriker recently said he was optimistic about returning.
"I understand how the NFL works. [But] there's no doubt in my mind they want me around," Carriker said. "They like a lot of things about me. They know I can play. They know I know the defense very well. Even if you bring a guy in, unless you see him in your exact scheme, it's hard to know if a guy will work.
"They know I can do it. Plus I've been battling every day for a year and a half. I think they like and respect that. They've also seen the progress. It's just a matter of me getting back to full speed and getting 100 percent back to normal. Without a doubt, they want me back."
Carriker recorded a career-best 5.5 sacks in 2011 as the starting left defensive end. The first-round pick by St. Louis in 2007 was traded to Washington in 2010, switching from a 4-3 end/tackle to a 3-4 end. He was a good fit and it showed with his anticipation skills in 2011, making more plays behind the line.
Rocca's release saves the Redskins $1.2 million against the salary cap. Rocca, 40, averaged 42.0 yards per punt, and his 33.8 yard net average was a career low, a function of bad coverage and some untimely short punts.
Jamison, a seventh-round pick from Rutgers, spent most of the season on the practice squad. The Redskins also released tight end Richard Quinn and running back Davin Meggett.