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Need to Know: Will LB Zach Brown's visit to Redskins Park end with a contract?

Need to Know: Will LB Zach Brown's visit to Redskins Park end with a contract?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, April 3, 24 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 14
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 39
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 51
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 103
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 151

Will the Zach Brown visit lead to a contract?

The Redskins are scheduled to bring linebacker Zach Brown in for a visit today.

As we all have learned, a visit does not necessarily mean a signing. It may not even mean serious interest in the part of the Redskins. This could be a favor to his agent to try to wake up the Raiders, who seem to be dragging their feet after they seemed to be near a deal a week ago. Or perhaps the Redskins will make a serious bid and end up signing him.

If he signs a one-year deal, which seems to be a trend this year among players who aren’t getting what they want in long-term deals, it would be his second such contract in a row. Brown will be 28 around midseason and he should perhaps try to get some security on a multi-year deal instead facing the prospect of playing for his fourth different team in four seasons in 2018. It’s hard for a player to realize his potential with such a lack of stability.

Should Brown sign, he likely would become the starter at Mo linebacker (or whatever Greg Manusky calls the inside LB who isn’t the Mike). The five-year veteran could bring an element of speed and athleticism that is lacking at the position. Mason Foster, who finished last year strong as the nickel linebacker after Su’a Cravens was injured, could return to that role with Cravens moving to safety.

MORE REDSKINS: Will Compton plays a sick April Fools prank on Redskins fans

Brown was a playmaker last year, with an interception, two forced fumbles, and four sacks for the Bills. For his career he has seven picks, four forced fumbles, and 14 sacks.

Back to a potential contract, the Redskins have about $11.3 million in salary cap space. They would have a tough time signing him to a one-year deal for $5-$6 million, the salary range he reportedly has been seeking. That would leave them very tight on cap space. They need about $2 million to sign their draft picks. A $5 million hit would possibly have them needing to restructure or renegotiate some contracts to have enough of a cushion to get through the season.

If they can get him to agree to a multiyear deal, however, they could squeeze a three-year contract averaging $5 million per year into about $3 million in 2017 cap space. That would be something they should take a serious look at as Brown would be an upgrade on a defense that can use all the improvement it can get.

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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NFL Schedule Release 2018: Rumors, news, dates, home, away opponents

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NFL Schedule Release 2018: Rumors, news, dates, home, away opponents

The 2018 NFL schedule will be released at 8:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 19.

The 2018 NFL Season begins on Thursday, Sept. 6 with the Thursday Night Football season-opener. Week 1 commences on Sunday, Sept. 9 with a full slate of games.

But what we still have yet to find out is when each team plays each other. Home and away opponents, plus intra- and inter-conference matchups have already been announced, but the 2018 NFL schedule release will tell us when the teams will play.

The 2018 NFL schedule rumor mill has already started, with reports that the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles will host the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday in Week 1 for the season-opener in a rematch of the NFC championship game.

Here is everything we know about the 2018 NFL Schedule:

2018 NFL Schedule Rumors, News

Per out-of-town reports, we have the dates of some of the Redskins games. 

  • On Monday night, October 8, the Redskins will play at New Orleans. This would be a rematch of one of the 2017 games of the year (although Redskins fans would like to forget about how it ended
  • On Sunday, November 11 the Redskins will travel to Tampa Bay to play the Bucs. This should mark the Redskins' first game against their former star wide receiver, DeSean Jackson. 

Week 1: Vikings at Eagles. Howard Eskin of Sports Radio WIP reports that a rematch of the NFC Championship Game will serve as the 2018 NFL season-opener with the Vikings heading to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles.

Redskins 2018 Home Opponents:

Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants
Carolina Panthers (NFC South)
Green Bay Packers (NFC North)
Atlanta Falcons (NFC South)
Indianapolis Colts (AFC South)
Houston Texans (AFC South)

Redskins 2018 Away Opponents:

Philadelphia Eagles 
Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants
New Orleans Saints (NFC South)
Arizona Cardinals (NFC West)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFC South)
Tennessee Titans (AFC South)
Jacksonville Jaguars (AFC South)

RELATED: PROJECTING THE REDSKINS' 2018 SCHEDULE

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Redskins draft countdown: Georgia RB Sony Michel

Redskins draft countdown: Georgia RB Sony Michel

Redskins draft countdown

Sony Michel

Running back
Georgia

Sony Michel is a solid north-south runner who also can bounce outside and pick up yardage. He shared playing time with Nick Chubb last year and still ran for 1,277 yards, averaging 7.9 yards per carry, and scored 16 touchdowns against SEC competition. Michel also showed his bona fides in the passing game, catching 64 career passes and showing that he can handle pass protection. 

Height: 5-11
Weight: 220
40-yard dash:4.54

Projected draft round:2

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins have made no secret of their desire to draft an upgrade at running back. They would prefer one who can catch passes out of the backfield and gain yardage between the tackles. Sony Michel can do both as well as pop for yardage on the outside. There is a good chance that he will be on the board when the Redskins draft in the second round. Since they don’t have a third-round pick, this may be the last chance to get an upgrade in this draft. 

Film review: vs. Notre Dame, vs. Alabama

—The first thing to say here is that the Bulldogs had a quality run-blocking offensive line. Michel frequently had big holes to run through. For his part, Michel maximized his gains when he had a big opening, hitting it quickly and working north-south. 

—He also can pick up yards through just a small crease, again by hitting it with urgency and gaining momentum to drive for the final few yards. 

—Michel didn’t do a whole lot of pass protection in the plays I watched, but he was solid when he did. On one play against Notre Dame, he put a blitzing defensive back on the ground. Against Alabama, he got in the way of likely first-round pick Da’Ron Payne long enough to allow the quarterback to get off a deep pass. To be sure, he didn’t blow Payne away but his block was effective.

—Besides the O-line, Michel also got quality blocking from his receivers. Again, he took advantage, reading the blocks and maximizing the gain. 

—He also can get it done without much help. On third and 20 against the vaunted Alabama defense, he headed up the middle and quickly went outside when he saw no running room. He headed to the sideline with four Alabama defenders and no blockers in sight. Michel found another gear and accelerated down the sideline to convert the third and long.  

—He later converted a third and 10 on a draw play, quickly getting up to speed and zipping through traffic to move the sticks. 

Potential issues: Although he has decent speed, he’s not the home run threat you might want in a back taken in the second round. And Michel isn’t really a power back either, although he can fight for extra yards. 

Despite his limitations, there is chatter that Michel might be drafted early in the second round or perhaps even late in the first. It’s hard to separate the smoke and speculation from reality as we sit a week before the draft starts. But he’s a talented back and if Derrius Guice goes off the board earlier than most expect, a run on runners could include Michel. 

Bottom line: Saquon Barkley is the obvious top running back and he surely will be gone when the Redskins pick in the first round. After that, the Redskins have plenty of options. They like Guice but 13 may be too high for him and he is likely to be gone when their pick in the second is on the clock. Michel is one of a few possibilities there, a group that also would include Michel’s former teammate Nick Chubb, Ronald Jones of USC and others. Without a peek at the draft board in Ashburn, we will just have to wait and see. 

Redskins draft countdown

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