ASHBURN, Va., Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Trying to save money against the salary cap, the Washington Redskins Wednesday released running back Stephen Davis.
The move had been expected since Davis was scheduled to count $11.4 million against the salary cap this season. He also was a less than ideal fit in Coach Steve Spurrier's offense.
Washington entered the offseason more than $2 million above the $74.8 million salary cap for this season.
A two-time Pro Bowler, Davis is third on the Redskins' all-time rushing list with 5,790 yards and 45 touchdowns.
Davis had resigned himself to this move late last season.
"The thing I realize is that the Washington Redskins -- the people, the fans, the organization that gave me an opportunity -- I really appreciate that," Davis, a 1996 fourth-round pick out of Auburn, told the Washington Times. "It's a part of my life that I'll always cherish. This is somewhere me and my family had the opportunity to grow."
Last season, Davis rushed for 820 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games. He missed the final two games for the season with a dislocated right elbow.
Even before he was released, reports circulated that the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots were interested in signing Davis.
Davis enjoyed his best season with the Redskins in 1999, rushing for 1,405 yards to go along with 17 touchdowns. Last season, he rushed for 820 yards on 207 carries before being sidelined with a shoulder injury in the Philadelphia game on Dec. 15.
Davis, the Redskins' third all-time leading rusher, turns 29 on Saturday. He remains the Redskins' only player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in three straight seasons, and he set the franchise single-season mark in a season in 1999 and 2001.
The Redskins also waived backup safety Sam Shade, tight end Walter Rasby and punter Craig Jarrett.