Photo: Manuel Ceneta/AP

Roughly two weeks ago, Washington safety Su’a Cravens abruptly told management that he planned to retire from the NFL. He didn’t say why, but the team apparently convinced him to change his mind for a little while and placed him on the exempt/left squad list, which would give him a month to decide what to do.

Ian Rapoport reported this weekend that Cravens had decided to play after all and would report to the team this Tuesday. Coach Jay Gruden gave Rapoport a quote about the importance of one’s personal life and Cravens spent Saturday night on the sidelines of the USC-Texas game with team executive Doug Williams. All seemed well.

Advertisement

Today, however, Washington placed the 2016 second-round pick on the reserve/left squad list, ending his season despite his desire to return. “We sincerely hope that Su’a uses this time away from the club to reflect upon whether or not he’d like to resume his career in the National Football League in 2018,” is a very in-character sentence for this team:

That would seem to be put a cap on this mess, but according to Pro Football Talk, Cravens may show up anyway tomorrow as planned, even though Washington shifted his status without telling him. Per Florio, Cravens wasn’t allotted the sufficient amount of time with his current status before the Skins shut him down:

As the source explains it, Washington was aware that Cravens was coming back on Tuesday. Out of the blue on Monday, they shifted his status from exempt/left squad to reserve/left squad, ending his season. Cravens, we’re told, wasn’t informed that the team was planning to make the move until after the move already had been made.

The circumstances that allowed Cravens to receive a four-week roster exemption set the stage for Monday’s developments. By rule, Washington was required to send Cravens the so-called “five-day letter,” which informs him that if he doesn’t return within (duh) five days, he can be placed on the reserve/left squad list. So, basically, once five days elapsed, Washington had the ability to shut Cravens down — even if he was under the impression that he had four weeks to return.

As it stands, Cravens has been gone little more than two weeks and, just as he was getting ready to walk through the door, the team slammed it in his face.

That would be a shitty way to treat a player who was at one point unsure about his future due to health or personal issues! The exact reason he stepped away was never clear, but Cravens had dealt with a few injuries as well as homesickness. The matter was enough to make him rethink his football future, and Cravens could have benefitted from guidance from his organization. Unfortunately, his team’s run by Dan Snyder.