For some the Redskins termination of veteran RT Jon Jansen came as a surprise; yours truly would be part of that group that was surprised. However, some would make the argument that Jansen's skills had diminished significantly; while others would say that he's been a rock on that offensive line for 10 years. Similarly, some would say he was a leader on the team, while others would argue otherwise. The fact of the matter is that whether you loved him or not, the Skins are now sattled with Jansen taking up $6.1M on their '09 cap; whereas if they were to have kept him, he'd only count $4.5M.
When you add Jansen's dead money amount with Brandon Lloyd's amount ($5.3M) counting this year, you have $11.4M of cap space being taken up by players no longer on the team. Add Shawn Springs ($2.5M) and Marcus Washington ($2M) to that amount, and you then have nearly $16M in dead money on the Skins' books this year.
At a minimum, people (including Jansen himself probably) figured that Jansen would at least have the opportunity to compete for a starting position in training camp; however, given his recent history of being injury-prone, I'm guessing the club didn't want to risk Jansen suffering a Phillip Daniels-like training camp injury which would then essentially guarantee his salary in 2009.
Reports indicate that Jansen wasn't unemployed for long, with his signing with his home state Detroit Lions; kudos to Dan Snyder for feeling compelled to fly Jansen to Redskins Park to tell him face-to-face of the team's decision to let him go.