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Need to Know: Redskins' one-year deal for Zach Brown has risk and reward for both parties

Need to Know: Redskins' one-year deal for Zach Brown has risk and reward for both parties

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, April 4, 23 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 13
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 38
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 50
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 102
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 150

Three and out—Zach Brown edition

1. According Pro Football Talk and other such analysis sites, Zach Brown was the best available free agent still on the market. The Redskins brought him in for a visit yesterday morning and struck a deal with him in the afternoon.

To be sure, Brown was ranked in the 40’s when the ratings first came out. He’s not a game-changing talent but a solid addition to a defense that needs all the help it can get.

For right now, it looks like they will start Brown and Will Compton at the two inside linebacker spots and have Mason Foster come in for nickel situations, something he did well last year after Su’a Cravens went out with an injury.

2. Brown reportedly agreed to a one-year deal. We don’t have any financial terms yet but LB Kevin Minter, who started 32 games for the Cardinals in the last two years, signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Bengals last month. It is a safe assumption that Brown’s deal is somewhere in that vicinity, perhaps with some incentives that could add to his pay.

3. The Redskins now have two potential starters, Brown and WR Terrelle Pryor, on one-year deals.

Often it is the player’s choice. As noted, Brown was looking for around $6 million per year in a one-year deal. He didn’t find any takers. So instead of setting for whatever he could get over three or four years and get locked into that, he opts for a one-year deal that will give him a decent payday and hope that he can cash in next year. He’ll be 28 when free agency comes around in 2018 and he hopes to be able to cash in.

Brown is taking a risk of injury by doing this. He knows all about that; in 2015 he played in one game before a shoulder injury sidelined him for the rest of the year. But it’s a chance he’s willing to take.

In some cases the team may prefer the one-year deal as it minimizes their risk. Free agents aren’t always good fits into a team’s culture or system. Instead of committing to a long-term deal and committing the guaranteed money needed to get that deal done, a one-year deal essentially lets them rent before buying.

The risk for the team is if the player blows up and has a big season. They then may have a situation where the player may be priced out of their range

Out—Brown’s deal will pay him up to $4.65 million. If it all goes against this year’s cap (that will depend on how the incentives are structured) they will have about $6.6 million in 2018 cap space. The Redskins will be at the point where they will need to do something to create more room. They need about $2 million in net cap space to sign their draft picks and they will want about $5 million to ensure that they don’t have to coast across the finish line on fumes.

One way to get more space is to rework DeAngelo Hall’s contract, which calls for him to make $4.25 million this year. They also could save up to about $7.5 million by restructuring Trent Williams’ contract, converting some of his 2017 salary into signing bonus and spreading the cap hit out over the remaining four years of his contract.  

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

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When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

At halftime of the Redskins’ Thanksgiving night game against the Giants, Samaje Perine had three yards rushing and his team had three points. Washington had racked up all of 113 yards.

Coincidence? Not entirely. Although the Redskins are primarily a passing team they need to run the ball to pass effectively.

“We had to get the running game going,” said Jay Gruden after the game.

In the second half, Perine and the offense did get it going. Perine ran for 97 yards and Redskins put up 210 yards and 17 points. It’s safe to say that it wasn’t a coincidence.

The Redskins didn’t make any halftime adjustments to get the ground game in gear.

“We just had to stay the course,” said Perine. “We knew they were going to come out fired up, they just came off a big win. We just had to stay the course and then things started going our way.”

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS OF THE WIN

Perine was more steady than spectacular. His longest run was 16 yards. He came out of the locker room and ran for six and 10 yards on his first two carries. Later in the third quarter the Redskins were backed up at their own 10. Perine ran four straight plays for 39 yards and the Redskins were near midfield.

Although they didn’t score on that drive they did change field position. That was part of the Redskins’ strategy playing with an injury-depleted offense.

“If you had to punt in a game like this and play field position, it’s not the end of the world because our defense was playing so good,” said Gruden.

Not only did the running game flip the field, it flipped the time of possession. In the first half, the Giants had the ball for 17:40 compared to 12:20 for the Redskins.

“We had to get on the field and control some of the clock,” said tackle Morgan Moses. “We had to give our defense a rest. Samaje put his foot in the ground and got extra yards when needed and we were able to move the chains.”

Moses wasn’t the only one enjoying seeing Perine pile up some yards.

“As a defensive player, you want to see that,” said safety D.J. Swearinger. “We say, keep running it. Keep running him. Let him keep getting those carries, put a dent in the defense. It was a good sight to see.”

RELATED: FIVE KEY MOMENTS IN RESKINS VS GIANTS

Swearinger got to watch a lot of Perine. The Redskins piled up 22:17 in possession in the second half, while Swearinger and his defensive mates had to defend for just 7:43.

Last night was the second time in four days that Perine has rushed for 100 yards or more; he had 117 in New Orleans on Sunday. No Redskin has rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games since Alfred Morris did it in November of 2013.

He will have a chance to extend that streak to three on Thursday against the Cowboys, who are ranked 17th in rushing defense. That would put him in some elite company in Redskins history, including Larry Brown (twice) and Stephen Davis.  A steak of three straight 100-yard games was last done by Morris in 2012.

It may be a little early to look forward, but the Redskins record is five straight 100-yard games, held by Clinton Portis (twice) and Ladell Betts.  

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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This group Redskins postgame interview was so much better than any group celebration from this year

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@sung_minkim

This group Redskins postgame interview was so much better than any group celebration from this year

Get out of here with being thankful for good health and family and all that other nonsense.

The thing you should've been most grateful for on Thanksgiving was the tremendous group postgame interview the Redskins did after beating the Giants 20-10 at FedEx Field.

This year, group celebrations are the thing to do in the NFL, and they've been fine. The Steelers' choregraphed hide-and-seek was cute, and the Eagles have actually looked like the best baseball team in Philadelphia at times this season.

But those collective efforts have NOTHING on Kirk Cousins hand feeding Brandon Scherff a giant turkey leg or Ryan Kerrigan and Jamison Crowder cheers-ing with their own massive legs:

MORE: KIRK COUSINS IS EVOLVING, AND HERE'S PROOF

Can we all take a moment and look at how happy Morgan Moses is to rip a bite off of his drumstick?:

And please check out DJ Swearinger piggy-backing on random-signing-turned-starting-center Tony Bergstrom:

Four days after walking off the field following a sickening loss in New Orleans, the Redskins got to shove meat down their gullets. Winning in the NFL is more fun than losing in the NFL.

RELATED: PLAYERS WON'T TALK ABOUT THE FIELD - PUBLICLY, ANYWAY