Commanders claim 2 cornerbacks on waivers, release LBs David Mayo, De’Jon Harris

ASHBURN, Va. — A day after keeping just four cornerbacks on their initial 53-man roster, the Washington Commanders made a pair of roster moves to bolster that group of positions.

The Commanders claimed a pair of cornerbacks on waivers on Wednesday, Tariq Castro-Fields and Rachad Wildgoose, who were both released in their respective clubs’ last roster cuts the previous day.

“We have guys that we think can meet some of the needs that we work for. We love them both,” Washington head coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday. “We think both are talented young football players who fit what we are looking for.”

To make room for Castro-Fields and Wildgoose on the active roster, Washington released two linebackers: veteran David Mayo and third-year pro De’Jon ‘Scoota’ Harris. Leaving Mayo is somewhat of a surprise, especially considering he played 16 games for Washington last season and even took on a few first-team reps during training camp.

Castro-Fields, 23, was a sixth-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in the draft last April. The cornerback is also a local product of Riverdale Baptist High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Castro-Fields played his college ball at Penn State and was teammates with Commanders first-round pick Jahan Dotson.

“This guy’s got size, speed, athleticism – really high ceilings,” general manager Martin Mayhew said. “…I know his coaching position at Penn State very well. Terry Smith was a catcher here when I played here. I told Terry about him during the draft process. Tariq has a huge advantage.”

Wildgoose, 22, was originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Wildgoose was released by Buffalo in the last roster cuts last August, but immediately joined the practice squad Bills right after. The cornerback was signed to the Jets’ active roster last November and played five games with New York as a rookie last season.

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“I spoke to both [Jets] coach [Robert] Salah and [general manager] Joe Douglas,” Mayhew said. “These guys spoke very well about the young man as a person. They hated losing him. … It has indoor and outdoor versatility. The guy is very competitive. He has skills in covering men. We are delighted to have him.”

Additionally, Rivera praised Wildgoose’s athleticism and positional versatility as two reasons Washington was interested in the sophomore cornerback.

Commanders also plan to place tight end Curtis Hodges has been placed on IR. By doing so, Hodges will be able to return to the team after the first four games. Rivera said Wednesday that he considers Hodges’ injury a four or five week recovery and hopes the tight end can return to the field after that.

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