The Washington Redskins signed tight end Zach Hilton and running back Derrick Blaylock this week. Both players worked out at the rookie camp this past weekend, and both obviously impressed enough to get a contract and a further look.
Hilton is a four-year NFL veteran that comes to Washington via the Jets. The 6’8″, 268 pound tight end spent last season with New York after spending his first three in New Orleans. Hilton didn’t see any playing time last year, but in 2005 with the Saints, he played in fifteen games (started six) and caught 35 passes for 396 yards and a touchdown.
With only Chris Cooley and Todd Yoder from last year’s roster, and lesser known quantities like Eric Edwards and the recently drafted Tyler Ecker, Washington needs the depth.
Will Hilton’s size translate into good blocking? He obviously isn’t going to unseat Cooley as the main pass option, but the Redskins could really use a tight end that can block at the line of scrimmage. Mike Sellers is now used almost exclusively out of the backfield, so Yoder would actually be the guy whose job that Hilton is gunning for.
Last year Washington had Cooley, Yoder, and now departed Brian Kozlowski on the roster, so there’s actually probably room for three tight ends. Regardless, Hilton’s best shot at meaningful playing time is by establishing himself as the blocking tight end that the Redskins need.
Hilton is also a local, having gone to Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Wheaton, Maryland.
Derrick Blaylock is a six-year NFL veteran, who also comes over from the Jets. He battled injury problems in New York, but has reportedly been healthy since January.
The running back enjoyed his best year in the NFL under Redskins associate head coach Al Saunders. In Kansas City in 2004, Blaylock appeared in 12 games, starting five, and ran the ball for over 500 yards (539 yards on 118 carries). He scored eight touchdowns, and also caught 25 passes for an additional 246 yards.
The Chiefs drafted Blaylock out of Stephen F. Austin University, in the fifth round of the 2001 NFL Draft.
With all of the new post-draft free agent signings, Washington made some roster space by releasing Canadian Kerry Carter.
Carter has been working at rehabilitating the knee he injured in last year’s preseason against the Cincinnati Bengals, but he won’t even get a chance to show the Redskins how that rehab has come along. The addition of Blaylock made Carter ‘expendable’.
It is the second time since 2005 that Carter has been injured in the preseason, only to be released before getting back to full health. In 2005, he injured his ankle while playing for the Seahawks and suffered a similar fate to the one he’s going through now.
It was going to be an uphill struggle for Carter, with special teams looking like his best chance at a roster spot; still, it seems tough to not even let him take a shot at mini-camp in June. The running back who was born in Trinidad, but grew up in Toronto, Canada will now have to decide if he wants to take a shot somewhere else.
Good luck Kerry.
Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Mark Solway