Ashburn, Va. The newest Washington Redskin is eager for a fresh start after his promising career in Tampa Bay became enmeshed with his messy personal life.
Wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe led the Buccaneers with six touchdowns in 2011 while catching 35 passes but skipped a voluntary minicamp in April as his current and former girlfriends engaged in a series of accusations on Twitter.
Briscoe, a former Kansas University standout, was cut on Thursday and claimed off waivers by the Redskins on Friday.
Ironically, the Redskins cut 2011 leading receiver Jabar Gaffney in May in part because of comments he made on Twitter that were deemed inappropriate. Their new receiver likely wouldn’t be with Washington if not for the micro-blogging site.
Briscoe said Saturday his domestic issues have been resolved, although he did not go into details.
“I always want to be around my team, but the situation I had back at the house, I felt was more important,” Briscoe said. “I made the mandatory (workouts). I missed a couple of voluntaries. It’s tough, especially coming off the season I did have. I felt I had good security, but things happen.”
Things such as failing to complete 16 sprints of 110 yards in a predetermined time, a conditioning test used by new Bucs coach Greg Schiano to start training camp. That was apparently the last straw.
Briscoe said that while he likes Schiano, he believes he would still be in Tampa Bay if coach Raheem Morris, now Washington’s defensive backs coach, hadn’t been fired after last season.
“The (new) coaching staff pretty much hand-picked their guys,” Briscoe said. “With the disciplined program they run down there and me not showing up to voluntary workouts, that made a big difference. The conditioning test, not everyone passed. It stuck out with me not passing because I wasn’t there in the offseason training. They made it seem like I’m out of condition, which I’m not.”
In Washington, Briscoe will have competition at the position.
The Redskins gave $28 million guaranteed to free-agent receivers Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan in March.
Longtime starter Santana Moss dropped 15 pounds and seems revitalized. And 2011 third-round draft pick Leonard Hankerson is recovered from the hip injury that ended his rookie year the same day he recorded a 100-yard game.
But Hankerson is the only other receiver with NFL experience and the size the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Briscoe has.
“There’s not many big guys,” Briscoe said. “Usually it’s speedier, craftier, route-running guys here. Every time you get released from a team, you always got to start over and prove yourself. I just have to take advantage of the opportunity now.”