Beck was winless in three starts for the Redskins in 2011. The former second-round pick finished the season with 858 yards on 80 of 132 passing and had just two passing touchdowns to go with four interceptions.
Beck's release comes after Washington drafted quarterback Kirk Cousins out of Michigan State during Saturday's fourth round. The Redskins also introduced No. 2 overall pick Robert Griffin III later in the afternoon.
The talented Cousins won 27 games as a three-year starter and with the pick coach Mike Shanahan may have created the kind of quarterback controversy that has often enveloped the Redskins
Cousins said during a conference call even he was a little surprised to be picked by Washington.
"I was trying to forecast which teams would be looking at a quarterback and I didn't see the Redskins thinking along those lines, but coach Shanahan's words to me were that he couldn't pass me up," Cousins said.
Griffin said he and Cousins had a long-distance relationship in college. It will be up close and personal in Washington. The Redskins gave up three first-round picks and a second-round selection to take Griffin.
Washington was the first team to select two quarterbacks in the first four rounds since Green Bay in 1989. The last time the Redskins chose a quarterback in the top 10 before Griffin was in 1994 when they took Heath Shuler. He eventually was beaten out by Gus Frerotte, whom the Redskins took in the seventh round.
Much is expected from RG3.
The Redskins have started 21 quarterbacks over the past 19 seasons. But Griffin seems comfortable with the expectations.
He said Saturday he's going to "try not to take the weight of the last 20 years on my shoulders." However, Griffin is well aware of the history and problems the Redskins have had at the position, saying, "They drafted me to be the solution ... and I plan to be that solution."
Griffin told NFL.com on Saturday that he and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan have already started discussing ways to use Griffin's unique skillset.
"I have the playbook, and I'm going to dive into it on the flight," Griffin told NFL Network. " ... They're going to use me in many ways, and they're going to give me a lot of input in the offense."
Griffin said he won't try to bully the team's veterans with his new-found stature, instead choosing to lead by example.
"You just go in and show them," he told NFL.com. "You can't come in as a top pick and say, 'Hey, this is my team, we're going to do things my way.' "
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.