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Strike up the Band! Zach Brown is Back!

March 15, 2018
The Redskins have overall done the right thing so far in free agency, including signing Paul Richardson and bringing back starting inside linebacker, Zach Brown.

The Brown deal makes everyone feel a lot better about the interior of their defense, especially because they haven’t been able to beef up their run defense on the line, as of yet.

Brown’s return, first reported by J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington, comes at a price tag of three years and $24 million. The terms of the deal were first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. 

A couple of “Quick Snaps” thoughts on the deal:

1 – We wrote about Brown’s situation in detail a few weeks ago when Mason Foster returned to the Redskins and when Brown was reportedly asking for ten-million dollars per year.

I penned at the time: “If he does (realize his price is too high)  and the Redskins can get him on a significantly lower AAV (6-7 million), then they should do a multi-year deal in the three-year neighborhood, but I wouldn’t do more.”

It turns out that the average of the reported terms will put the average annual value at $8 million per year, assuming the numbers hold up.

We also mentioned this: “If Brown comes back to them and wants a higher figure, then if I were the Redskins, I would be willing to consider a one-year deal at the $8.7 million the other big three (Ryan Shazier, Deone Buchanon & C.J. Mosely) are scheduled to make in 2018.”

In essence the two sides did what both sides should do. They swallowed their pride and made a seemingly fair deal for both parties. It’s a little higher on average than I would have liked from the team perspective and it is lower than the fifth-year option salary that the other three are scheduled to make.

Most importantly, it’s nowhere near the reported ten-million dollar per year figure that Brown wanted.

2 – The Redskins and Brown getting this done on day two of free agency, allows the team to focus on other needs. They still need help everywhere. Along the defensive line, edge pass rusher, secondary and at running back. They have plenty of holes.

Depending on cap and contract structure, the Redskins are probably at around $20 million or so (give or take $1-2 million).

3 – Brown’s return,  along with Mason Foster and Martrell Spaight (already on roster), would seem to indicate that Will Compton is not returning and that the Redskins almost very likely will not draft an inside backer, like Roquan Smith, in the first round.

4 – Brown really needs to improve a lot of areas of his game, like his command of the defense and his pass coverage, but when he was healthy – he brought an explosiveness to the Redskins defense that they simply have not had over the years.

It’s important that Brown gets more comfortable with the mental side because of the injuries that happen every year and certainly happened with Washington at the position last season. The Redskins have to be able to get the versatility they need from Brown, for the price they paid.

5 – Team speed and athleticism is a huge quality to have. The Redskins had very little of it before Brown arrived and now that he is back, along with Montae Nicholson, D.J. Swearinger, younger cornerbacks and Jonathan Allen – the Redskins should have enough speed to compete. They still could always use more.

Chris Russell has covered the Washington Redskins for eight seasons for multiple media outlets and was a part of the Redskins Radio Network broadcast team for five years. He covers the Redskins, Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade for Monumental Sports Network (  Listen to Chris on Washington D.C.'s # 1 sports radio station, 106.7 The FAN