Redskins

Quick Links

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.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Report: Trent Williams wants a new deal or a trade from Redskins

Report: Trent Williams wants a new deal or a trade from Redskins

INDIANAPOLIS -- While recent meetings between Redskins head coach Ron Rivera and disgruntled left tackle Trent Williams helped repair the relationship between star player and team, the situation isn't resolved.

In fact, Williams still wants to be traded if he can't get a new contract, according to a new report from NFL Network.

Williams did not play a single snap for Washington in 2019. Not one. That came as the result of a cancer scare that he didn't believe was adequately handled by the Redskins medical staff. He also lost trust in former team president Bruce Allen. Importantly too, Williams wanted a new contract with lots of guaranteed money. 

Rivera has overhauled the Redskins medical staff and Allen is obviously gone from the team, but the contract hurdles remain. 

For the Redskins a new deal for Williams might not make a lot of sense. He will turn 32 in July and hasn't played a full 16-game season since 2013. He's also a great player, so perhaps an extension could make sense. 

The best read on the situation is Williams likely won't play on his current contract, which has one-year remaining and a salary-cap charge of $14.5 million. None of that money is guaranteed. 

Right now, it seems like both sides are playing nice. The Redskins don't want to come out and say they're not going to pay Trent. And Trent's side doesn't want to come out and demand a trade. The meetings with Rivera and Williams mattered in that a resolution that pleases both sides is possible. 

What seems impossible, or at least unlikely at this point, is that Williams wears the Burgundy and Gold this fall unless a new contract emerges.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

 

Quick Links

Redskins are working with Brandon Scherff and view him as 'big part' of their O-line, Ron Rivera explains

Redskins are working with Brandon Scherff and view him as 'big part' of their O-line, Ron Rivera explains

The franchise tag window in the NFL officially opened on Thursday, and the Chiefs have already placed the label on defensive lineman Chris Jones. The deadline for clubs to follow suit comes in mid-March.

So, could the Redskins do the same with Brandon Scherff? That's a question the Redskins Talk podcast asked Ron Rivera directly on Thursday, when the head coach sat down for an interview.

"Well the plan is to continue to work with his agent and see what we can get worked out, more so than anything else," Rivera said. "But Brandon, most certainly, is somebody that we really believe is a big part of our offensive line and we'll see how things work out."

The first half of that answer is fairly general; trying to get things "worked out" is something teams and agents are doing all the time. However, Rivera labeling Scherff as a "big part" of the Redskins' O-line certainly appears to be a clue that, at the very least, they don't intend to let the multi-time Pro Bowler leave.

"I don't want to deal in what-ifs and all that kind of stuff, but again, I know [Redskins Senior VP of Football Administration] Rob Rogers will be working with [Scherff's] folks trying to get something worked out," the coach said.

Scherff's recent injury history, plus issues with penalties in 2019, appear to have caused some fans to shift how they look at him. The 28-year-old is still an absolute force, though, and while Rivera also has to figure out Ereck Flowers' future and consider how Wes Martin fits into this guard equation as well, keeping Scherff in Washington has to be a top priority.

In fact, outside of reaching a solution to the Trent Williams dilemma, retaining Scherff might be the top priority as things currently stand.

Therefore, expect both sides to continue their dialogue, and if the organization senses that more time may be needed, they could use the franchise tag on Scherff to keep him where he is. Then, they can try to finish up negotiations on a long-term agreement, or play him on the tag in 2020, which would be quite expensive but still better than losing him altogether.

The last time the Redskins were involved in a franchise tag conundrum, it was messy and felt endless. If they turn to it again, however, expect the new leadership to handle it in a more professional manner.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS