Washington signs former first-round pick to reserve/future contract

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The Washington Football Team continues to add to the offseason roster. On Wednesday, Washington announced it had signed veteran cornerback D.J. Hayden to a reserve/future contract. Hayden is now a member of Washington’s offseason roster and will look to earn a spot on the 53-man roster in training camp.

Washington initially signed Hayden in December while the team was battling a COVID-19 outbreak. Starting cornerbacks Kendall Fuller and William Jackson III each missed time with COVID-19, and Jackson missed the season’s final three games due to injury.

Hayden was activated for two games late in the season as a COVID replacement, and he played four snaps on defense in a Week 16 loss at Dallas.

A first-round pick of the then-Oakland Raiders in 2013, the 31-year-old Hayden has spent time with the Raiders, Lions and Jaguars. Teams don’t often sign experienced veterans like Hayden to reserve/future contracts. Still, depending on what Washington does at cornerback in the offseason, he has an opportunity to make the opening-day roster. Washington opened the 2021 season with six cornerbacks, although Troy Apke was exclusively used on special teams.

Washington’s top three corners — Fuller, Jackson and Benjamin St-Juste — are all under contract for 2022.

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