In Mason Foster, Will Compton, and the newly-signed Zach Brown, the Redskins have three inside linebackers still in their 20s with a combined 199 games of NFL experience including 150 starts.
But they are far from set at the position with the NFL draft just a little over three weeks away.
Brown signed a one-year contract while Foster is in the final year of a two-year deal he signed in 2016. Compton is on a restricted free agent tender, a deal he has not yet signed. While he still could end up with a multi-year deal with the Redskins or with another team the most likely scenario at this point seems to be that he will play on the RFA tender this year and then join Brown and Foster as unrestricted free agents in 2018.
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They also have veteran Chris Carter on a one-year deal this year and recent draft picks Martrell Spaight and Steven Daniels in the fold for two and three more years, respectively. Zach Vigil, picked up on waivers late last season, will be a restricted free agent next year. While all those players have some potential to contribute, it is not known if any of them can start or even play a regular role.
Because of this, the Redskins are unlikely to change their draft plans after signing Brown. If they had Reuben Foster, Zach Cunningham and Haason Reddick high on their board last week they should remain there this week. Any mid-round inside backers who were on the board last week likely are still there.
Regardless of what they do or don’t do at inside linebacker in the draft there will be some serious competition for jobs. Compton, Foster, and Brown are locks. Spaight started a game when Compton was injured last year and he is one the team would like to hold on to. Still, he likely would have to compete Daniels, Carter, and Vigil for one of the two remaining roster spots.
If a draft pick or two is thrown into the mix the Redskins may have to carve out a sixth roster spot at ILB. If they do it won’t be because they need the player this year. The contract situations force them to think about 2018 and beyond.