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Redskins Playbook: Bye week could present opportunity to talk Zach Brown extension

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Redskins Playbook: Bye week could present opportunity to talk Zach Brown extension

For the purpose of this article, table the entire contract saga between Kirk Cousins and the Redskins. For the next few hundred words, erase that annual circus.

With that clean slate, consider this: The Redskins rank as one of the top clubs at keeping their own players. 

In most cases, the Washington front office locks up players they determine to be "core Redskins" well before those individuals hit free agency. 

Don't believe it? 

Chris Thompson and Morgan Moses got long-term deals done this offseason, a year prior to free agency. Jordan Reed got his deal done in 2016, a year before he would have hit free agency. 

Trent Williams. Ryan Kerrigan. Both got lucrative extensions with the club before they hit free agency. 

The team got an extension done with Vernon Davis almost immediately after the 2016 season, making sure to keep the veteran backup tight end in Washington before free agency opened. 

The Redskins have set a precedent: If they want you to stay in Burgundy and Gold, they will get a deal done. 

And it's time for the Redskins to try that avenue again. 

Plenty of credit belongs to plenty of people for the resurgent Washington defense. New coordinator Greg Manusky has instilled confidence and an aggressive attitude. Jim Tomsula has overhauled the defensive line. Torrian Gray speaks to his secondary in their language, earning their trust, far more than his predecesor Perry Fewell had. 

Players, too, deserve a lot of credit. 

Rookie Jonathan Allen and Matt Ioannidis have become a highly productive duo up front. Preston Smith is playing the best football of this career, and Ryan Kerrigan remains a stout pass rusher. D.J. Swearinger has brought swagger, communication and leadership to the back end of the defense. 

With all that credit going around, one player still stands out. That's Zach Brown. 

Through four games, Brown leads the NFL with 42 tackles. He's missed one snap this season, and his lateral speed shows up week after week. 

In Kansas City, Brown chased down rookie phenom running back Kareem Hunt as he raced for the end zone. Through three games in the NFL, nobody had caught Hunt in that situation. Brown did, and 70,000 plus fans at Arrowhead, not to mention Hunt, seemed shocked.

The only problem for the Redskins as it pertains to Brown: the linebacker is playing on a one-year deal. In 2018, he's a free agent. 

If Bruce Allen and the Washington front office wanted to try and work out an in-season contract extension, the bye week presents a perfect opportunity. It would give Brown some security with 12 games still remaining this season, and the week off would be a reasonable time to try and begin those conversations with Brown and his representatives.

It helps that Brown is from Columbia, Md., and seems to like the comforts of being close to home. He's already gone back to his hometown to watch a high school football game at his alma mater, Wilde Lake, and has plenty of family and friends in the area. 

Agents around the NFL were impressed how the Redskins handled Moses' contract extension. The team recognized a hard worker, and a player that showed tremendous growth, and rewarded him for that. It helped, too, that the team compensated Moses greatly and the process went on behind closed doors. No news came out until the contract was signed. 

The sample size is much shorter, but with Brown, his impact is obvious through four games. His speed commands attention, and he makes sure tackles and big hits. 

Ultimately, this will be about money. Everything is about money. 

Last season, Brown finished second in the NFL in tackles, behind only Seattle's Bobby Wagner. 

Wagner is making $7.6 million this year, and has two years left on his deal worth a guaranteed $20 million. 

Brown is making $2.5 million this season. Nothing is guaranteed next year, or beyond. 

It would make sense that Brown wants to be paid among the top four or five inside linebackers in the game, as he's performed at that level. That would mean somewhere between the $8.75 million a year Brian Cushing makes and the $12.3 million Luke Kuechly makes. 

If he continues to play at a high level, like he did last season in Buffalo and has so far this year in D.C., Brown will get paid in free agency. His market was cool this past offseason, as the sixth-year draft pick had only produced at a Pro Bowl caliber level for one season. 

If he does it again, the cash will follow. 

If the Redskins want to keep Brown in Burgundy and Gold, maybe now is the time to start talking. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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In addition to the Redskins, here is who you should be rooting for in Week 12

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In addition to the Redskins, here is who you should be rooting for in Week 12

It's crunchtime in the NFL, in particular for the Redskins. 

Standing at 4-6 on the season, the Redskins cannot afford to have another loss on their schedule. In the loaded NFC, though, they're probably going to need some extra help if they want to have any hope at making the playoffs.


With an easier schedule now on Washington’s horizon, they'll start to chip away at the two-game deficit they face for the final playoff spot in the NFC. The issue is that they are competing against three 6-4 teams, two 5-5 teams, and two other 4-6 teams. That is eight teams in the race for only one spot in the postseason. 

Let's assume that the Redskins go undefeated the rest of the way, because first and foremost they have to take care of business to have a shot. That will take the Chicago Bears, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers completely out of the Redskins’ race.

If your hope is that the Redskins will make the playoffs in the 2017-18 season, here are the other things to root for in Week 12, besides for the Redskins knocking off the Giants on Thanksgiving night:

Minnesota (8-2) over Detroit (6-4)
NOTES: The Vikings own the head-to-head over the Redskins so they are essentially 4.5 games up over Washington. Besides, someone has to win the NFC North and Minnesota should be the team you want.

LA Chargers (4-6) over Dallas (5-5)
NOTES: No explanation needed

Tampa Bay (4-6) over Atlanta (6-4)
NOTES: This is the only semi-tough one, but with the Falcons currently holding the final playoff spot the Redskins need them to lose. It will not be that hard for the Buccaneers to drop one more before the season is over.

NY Jets (4-6) over Carolina (7-3)
NOTES: Carolina is the No. 1 Wild Card team right now and the Redskins do not want them to get close to passing the Saints for the NFC South division title.

Chicago (3-7) over Philadelphia (9-1)
NOTES: One more win by the Eagles will eliminate Washington from the NFC East division title. While it is pretty much a foregone conclusion, there is still a chance...

San Francisco (1-9) over Seattle (6-4)

New Orleans (8-2) over LA Rams (7-3)
NOTES: Washington does not have the head-to-head over New Orleans but they do against the Rams. Los Angeles also has a worse record and will be easier to catch.

Jacksonville (7-3) over Arizona (4-6)

Pittsburgh (8-2) over Green Bay (5-5)


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Redskins Week 12 injury report: Four out vs. Giants, many others game-time decisions

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Redskins Week 12 injury report: Four out vs. Giants, many others game-time decisions

If you want the story on the Redskins’ injury picture for tomorrow night’s game against the Giants, you are going to have to wait until a couple of hours before kickoff.

Only four players have been declared out of the game, according to Jay Gruden. TE Jordan Reed (hamstring), DL Terrell McClain (toe), safety Montae Nicholson (concussion), and C Chase Roullier (hand) will not play.

Veteran Tony Bergstrom, who has been with the team for about a month, will start at center for Roullier. Gruden indicated that DeAngelo Hall will start at safety for Nicholson and Deshazor Everett will get some time there as well.


Reed will miss his third straight game with the hamstring injury. He said last week that he was close to coming back for the Saints game but he had a setback.

Those likely are not the only substitutes that will be needed. Ten players are questionable and Gruden said that seven or eight of them will be game-time decisions. Included on that list is OT Trent Williams.

Williams missed two games with a knee injury that eventually will require surgery. He has played in the last two but the recovery time after playing 69 snaps in New Orleans on Sunday may not be enough.

If Williams can’t play, Ty Nsekhe will fill in at left tackle. With Shawn Lauvao on injured reserve, Gruden said that Arie Kouandjio will start at left guard.


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