At a time when the Su'a Cravens situation presents plenty of confusion and uncertainty, one thing is clear: The roster exemption that Washington secured on Sunday expires after the team’s fourth regular-season game, four weeks from tonight.
Washington then will be required to decide whether to reinstate Cravens to the active roster or to make another move. Moving him to the reserve/left squad list would end his 2017 season. Placing him on the reserve/retired list would allow him to return this year, but he’d be subject to procedural recall waivers — allowing another team to claim his contract.
The fact that Washington has placed Cravens on the exempt/left squad list means that: (1) he has indeed left the team; and (2) the team has issued a five-day letter warning him that, if he doesn’t return in five days, he can be placed on reserve/left squad. Thus, if Washington becomes sufficiently exasperated by the situation within the next four weeks (and after the five days expire), the team could change the designation and end his season, tolling his contract for a full year.
If Cravens is indeed done with football, none of this matters. For now, the team has found a way to buy four weeks while Cravens makes a more permanent decision as to his football future.