Redskins cut four, including Smith

Updated: February 24, 2004, 6:05 PM ET news services

WASHINGTON -- Bruce Smith strongly hinted that he would retire after the season. The Redskins have now given the NFL's all-time sack leader a hint of their own.

Bruce Smith

Smith was one of four players released by the Redskins on Tuesday. Also getting cut were linebacker Jessie Armstead, punter Bryan Barker and defensive tackle Lional Dalton.

By making the cuts, the Redskins saved $10.9 million in cap room. With the release of Smith, the 'Skins save $6.5 million in cap space.

Smith said several times that the 2003 season likely would be his last. However, after he attained the NFL sack mark against the Giants, Smith would not rule out playing another season.

As far back as training camp Smith said that this would be his final season, assuming he got the 3 sacks he needed to pass Reggie White's 198 for No. 1 on the sack list.

It took 13 games for Smith to get the elusive sack No. 199. He finished the season (and his career?) with an even 200.

In various interviews late in the season, Smith sometimes seemed to shut the door firmly, only to reopen it again. Asked what under circumstance he would play again, Smith would only say: "I never go into a situation saying I'll never do something."

If Smith played another season, it would be his 20th in the NFL. He played the first 15 in Buffalo with the Bills.

The release of Armstead will have the biggest on-field impact.

The five-time Pro Bowl linebacker signed a three-year, $4.5 million contract two years ago after nine seasons with the New York Giants. Armstead, 33, had 9½ sacks and 216 tackles in two seasons with Washington and provided veteran locker room leadership.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.