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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Bryan Manning

Rivera, Mayhew give insight into the future of a pair of released veterans

If there was a surprise during the Washington Commanders’ final cuts Tuesday, it was the release of veteran center Tyler Larsen.

Larsen, entering his 10th NFL season in 2023, has been with Washington since 2021, and it’s actually his second stint with the franchise. Before signing with Washington in March 2021, Larsen spent five seasons with the Carolina Panthers, where he played for current Washington coach Ron Rivera.

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Larsen has appeared in 18 games, with 11 starts, over the last two seasons due to injuries to Chase Roullier. Unfortunately, Larsen would end each of his previous two seasons on IR with leg injuries after playing well for the Commanders.

Washington re-signed Larsen to a one-year deal in March after releasing Roullier and signing Nick Gates in free agency. The Commanders also drafted their future center, Ricky Stromberg, in the third round of the 2023 NFL draft.

Still, Washington loves what Larsen offers and does not want to be shorthanded at center again in 2023.

So, his release came as a bit of a surprise. However, his exit and the release of fullback/tight end Alex Armah could be temporary.

Both are vested veterans, and when asked about them Tuesday, Rivera and general manager Martin Mayhew offered a clue about their immediate futures.

“Well, I think the biggest thing, more anything else, is we like the position flex that the young man gives us,” Rivera said when asked about his confidence in Stromberg. He’s a solid, stout guy who we feel really good about right now.”

But check out how Rivera finished his answer to the question:

“And as Martin stated to the question, this is fluid right now, and we’re not done with anything potentially.”

Larsen will be back.

As for Armah, today’s NFL doesn’t feature a lot of fullbacks. Washington offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy does use a fullback, and Armah is a good, versatile player who can also help out at tight end.

Mayhew offered insight into Armah.

“Well, Alex has been a good player for us over the last couple of years,” Mayhew said. “We’ve had good conversations about him. There is value with having a fullback, and again, very fluid situation right now for where we are. I think we’re carrying four tight ends right now. We’ll see how that all plays out.”

Much like Rivera’s comment about Larsen, Mayhew gave a pretty clear indication that we haven’t seen the last of Armah.

Again, that’s why Tuesday’s roster is called the “initial” 53-man roster.

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