Though he's now battling a knee injury, Cravens is expected to be the team's starting strong safety - not just for this year, but in the years to come.
It's good, though, that Cravens' teammates do seem to be supportive of him, even if they've been blindsided by the report. ESPN reported that Cravens informed a handful of teammates the prior day that he meant to notify the team of his retirement.
Washington, which now is figuring out what list to place Cravens on this week, did not respond to questions about the safety. But the team said Gruden will speak to reporters on Tuesday. Cravens' uncertainty explains why Washington kept five safeties on its initial 53-man roster. "(Cravens has) got to handle what he needs to handle, whether it's mental, whether it's family. The team was expected to announce roster moves, including claiming offensive lineman T.J. Clemmings off waivers from Minnesota, later Sunday.
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One person who played with Cravens in the past and considers him a friend said he was not surprised when he heard the news Sunday. Whatever he has to do, we're here to support him. Cravens returned to action in Week 7. Per Pro Football Talk, if he retires, the Redskins could ask him to pay back 75 percent of his $1.422 million signing bonus, or $1.06 million. The Post reports that he has been discussing retirement with coaches for several weeks. The sophomore has battled a number of health issues dating back to college, from knee problems to concussions to a torn biceps suffered late last season.
Excited about his potential as a playmaker, coaches named him the starting strong safety entering spring practices although Cravens hasn't played that position full time since his freshman year at Southern California. Before Sunday, fans had been told that Cravens would be ready to go, playing alongside D.J. Swearinger at safety. The 6-foot, 195-pound Texas A&M product a year ago converted from cornerback to safety.