The move comes as a surprise, considering Scandrick signed with the team this offseason and had worked all training camp as a starter. It also signals the Redskins' comfort level with the development of their young cornerbacks.
Washington signed Scandrick in March to a two-year deal worth up to $7 million. The Redskins wanted him to start in the slot and perhaps on the outside; that's how they used him throughout camp. The Redskins will save $2.093 million against the cap and have $500,000 of dead money in 2018 and '19.
A number of young corners have performed well, including Quinton Dunbar, a fourth-year player who switched from receiver during his first camp. The Redskins have been pleased with his development but have always liked his ability in press-man coverage.
They also have Fabian Moreau, a third-round pick in 2017 who has worked in the slot. Rookies Greg Stroman, a seventh-round pick, and Danny Johnson, an undrafted free agent, also have impressed the coaches. In addition, Washington drafted Adonis Alexander in the supplemental draft in July.
The Redskins' corners now feature only one player, Josh Norman, with full-time starting experience. They'll have new starters in Dunbar and Moreau (slot), plus the three rookies as backups.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Tuesday he's confident enough in this group to make the move with Scandrick.
"It had nothing to do with his play. It was more the rookies' emergence," Gruden said. "If it doesn't work out, we still have time to make a move."
The Redskins remain interested in veteran Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, one source said. However, they are content with waiting to see if the young corners continue playing well, and they don't feel the need to pay a lot of money for another one. If there's a need, they can either revisit signing Rodgers-Cromartie, whom they tried to get in free agency, or wait to see which other corners end up being released.
A source said their former starting corner, Bashaud Breeland, is not an option.
Norman said he "was surprised" by Scandrick's release.
"But when you look at it, there are no surprises in this league," Norman said. "I guess now I'm back to being the veteran guy in the room. I was second, now I'm first overnight. I don't know. I think they trust those guys and they believe in them and put a lot of faith in their abilities and what they can do at an early age. We'll see how that goes.
"We're young, man, we're young. But that young draws fire, and if you get that fire directed in the right direction, that's really explosive things right there. ... If we're all locked in on the same page, I don't think there's nothing that can detour our group."
Scandrick spent his first nine seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, starting a combined 50 games the past four seasons. A source confirmed to ESPN's Dan Graziano that Scandrick plans to visit the Kansas City Chiefs.