Hunter Smith botches extra point, gets cut by Redskins

The Washington Redskins have found a fall guy.

For one loss anyway.

The team released punter Hunter Smith today, two days after he failed to catch a snap to put down an extra-point try that would have forced overtime against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As it was, Smith couldn’t handle the snap with nine seconds remaining and the Redskins lost 17-16 at FedEx Field. The team has signed Sam Paulescu to take his place.

In his defense, Nick Sundberg’s snap was high. Of course, kicker Graham Gano missed two easy field goals during the game too. But Smith, a 12-year veteran, has taken the fall.

“Honestly, nothing surprises me after 12 years playing NFL football," Smith told the Washington Post. “Obviously, if I catch the snap and we kick the extra point and go to overtime, I'm probably not cut today. So that's definitely disappointing. Obviously, this is not the way I wanted to finish the season.

"The hard thing is I've been a holder for 12 years in the NFL and have dropped two snaps, both in the rain. I've held for some great kickers, and if there's one thing that I think I'm good at, it is holding. I'm a much better holder than I am punter in my opinion. So for that to kind of be what caused the tipping point, well, it is a little unsettling."

It’s the Redskins, it’s not surprising. It’s worth noting, long snapper Dan Turk botched a snap in a 2000 playoff game against the Bucs. That cost them a 52-yard field goal try by Brett Conway with less than two minutes remaining in a game they lost 14-13.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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