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

Jay Gruden deserves praise for keeping Redskins 'out of the ditches'

Jay Gruden deserves praise for keeping Redskins 'out of the ditches'

On paper, Jay Gruden's tenor with the Redskins is nothing to write home about. Through five seasons he holds a 35-44-1 record, good enough for a .444 winning percentage. Looking at that, some may draw the conclusion that Gruden hasn't been what the Redskins need at the helm.

But according to Pro Football Talk's Darin Gantt, that's not exactly the case. Taking into account the variables Gruden has dealt with throughout the five years, Gantt actually sees him as a "really good" coach.

"I have always come down of the side, maybe, of guys who are doing more with less," Gantt said recently on a Redskins Talk Podcast. "I think Jay has done a pretty good job keeping things in the middle."

Doing more with less and working in the middle essentially defines Jay Gruden's career with the Redskins. Besides his opening year in 2014 in which Washington went 4-12, Gruden's teams have consistently finished right around the middle of the pack.

In the last four seasons, the Redskins have not won more than nine games, but they also haven't lost more than nine. Hovering right around .500, they've always been around league average.

Part of the reason Gantt is willing to give Gruden praise for records that some coaches would get scolded for revolves around what he's had to work with. Gruden's time as head coach has been filled with injuries and other dilemmas both on and off the field. 

In those circumstances, it wouldn't be surprising to see a team completely flounder and spiral out of control. But, that hasn't really been the case with Gruden. Dealing with what he has, the head coach has kept the team competitive for the most part. The team hasn't been a perennial playoff contender, but it also hasn't been at the bottom of the league.

For that ability to keep the Redskins out of the basement despite all the problems he's encountered, Gruden is someone Gantt respects.

"They're able to keep it out of the ditches," Gantt said about Gruden and former NFL head coach John Fox, who Gantt followed during his time in Carolina.

"I think again in the NFL there's something to be said for that," Gantt added. "When things get sideways a Jim Zorn can lose control in a hurry. I feel like Jay just got sort of a steady hand on the wheel."

Until Gruden takes Washington back to the postseason, the critiques will continue to come, as they would for almost all head coaches in similar situations. But when looking at Gruden's time in Washington with a wide view of everything that has happened, Gantt believes the head coach deserves at least a little praise for keeping things afloat.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Quick Links

Best birthday ever? 107-year-old Redskins fan celebrates in Burgundy and Gold

Best birthday ever? 107-year-old Redskins fan celebrates in Burgundy and Gold

When Carletha "Nana" West was growing up, she began to take an interest in football. In particular, she took notice of a certain Redskins quarterback. 

"When Sammy Baugh was quarterback I liked him and I was just learning football at that time," West said. "I was young myself."

Baugh commanded the Redskins offense from 1937-1952 and became one of West's favorite player. With that, her fandom for the Redskins grew.

Decades later, her love for the Redskins remains. So for her 107th birthday -- yes, 107th -- she, of course, celebrated it with some Burgundy and Gold festivities.

Joined by Redskins President Bruce Allen, West took in her birthday on Thursday, July 18, at Brandywine in Alexandria, Va. Not only was she given a customized Redskins jersey with the number 107 and the name "Nana", but West also got a day named after her. In Alexandria, July 18 will now be known as Carletha "Nana" West Day.

West spent some time reminiscing about her years as a Redskins fan, singing 'Hail to the Redskins' and even sharing her advice on how to live a long, fulfilling life. Besides loving football, she shared some simple words of wisdom.

"Make friends," West said. "And keep them."

MORE REDSKINS NEWS: