The Redskins today added some competition for Derrick Frost
at the punter position by signing Eddie Johnson, a 2003 sixth-round draft pick
of the Minnesota Vikings. Then, after this afternoon's practice, he promptly was waived.
Johnson was the Vikings’ punter during his rookie season
but he lost his confidence—and that of Mike Tice’s coaching staff—when he
mishandled snaps in three consecutive games towards the end of the season. They
signed a replacement for him and he hasn’t taken an NFL snap since then. He
averaged 39.1 yards with a net of 32.6. He has been with three other teams in
the interim, most recently in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ camp last summer and
the Bengals and Giants before that.
The team also attempted to bolster its special teams with
the signing of safety Vernon Fox. He made the Chargers as an undrafted free
agent in 2002 and has split his four NFL season between San Diego and, most
recently, the Detroit Lions. Three of his five career starts came in his rookie
year as he filled in for an injured Rodney Harrison. He has managed to survive
in the NFL on special teams, an area that has been of concern to the Redskins
during the preseason.
To make room for these two players, the Redskins released
running back Jesse Lumsden and cornerback Dimitri Patterson. Lumsden was a star
in Canada who has now failed to make an NFL team in two attempts, having been
cut by Seattle last year. Patterson was a late-season signee last year who saw
some action but was a victim of a numbers game at corner.