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Redskins release LB Willie Jefferson in first wave of cuts

The Washington Redskins cut linebacker Willie Jefferson, who looked to be ahead in the race for the fourth outside linebacker spot only a week or so ago. But instead he was included among the first wave of cuts as the Redskins trimmed the roster to 75, which had to be done by 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Jefferson's length was intriguing, but he obviously didn't show enough to warrant a roster spot. He played sparingly in Friday's 21-16 victory over Buffalo -- he missed a tackle on a 37-yard touchdown run, trying to knock down the back with his shoulder. Lynden Trail and Mike Wakefield both worked ahead of Jefferson at outside linebacker Friday.

As of now, Houston Bates would appear to be the front-runner as the fourth outside linebacker, barring a surprise. Bates' ceiling isn't considered high, but the coaches know what they'll get from him. He's consistently worked with the No. 2 defense since camp opened. Jefferson, in his second season, could always be signed to the practice squad, but releasing him now clearly gives other teams a long chance to sign him, which means the Redskins were prepared to move on without him.

Among the other players released: tackle Al Bond, tackle Cody Booth, linebacker Shiro Davis, linebacker Ejiro Ederaine, corner Jeremy Harris, receiver Valdez Showers, receiver Dez Stewart, receiver Jarvis Turner and running back Kelsey Young.

The roster must be trimmed to 53 by 4 p.m. Sept. 3.