Zach Brown agreed to terms with the Washington Redskins on a 1-year deal today, pending a physical of course. The deal got done on his official visit to the Redskins after a rough free agency period for him. Brown recently had visits with the Dolphins, Raiders, and Bills before meeting with Washington. After visits with the three teams prior to Washington, one can assume Brown was not happy with the offers he was getting as he changed representation during this free agency period.
The 27-year old Pro Bowl linebacker had a breakout year finishing 2016 with 149 combined tackles, 4 sacks, 1 interception, 4 passes defensed, and 2 forced fumbles. He was one of the NFL’s best remaining free agents and for me, was the 6th best player Washington should target in free agency.
Brown is a fast and physical linebacker who displays excellent sideline to sideline speed, and is very instinctual. He’s a good cover guy and also stout in the run game. An addition that is greatly needed by a Redskins defense who allowed 119.8 yards per game on the ground last year.
The front seven for Washington continues to be rebuilt with outside additions. Defensive lineman Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee were signed early on after the Redskins bowed out of the Calais Campbell sweepstakes, providing two solid run defenders. Brown’s signing speaks to the theme this off-season, making opposing offenses one dimensional.
At the moment the starting inside linebacker’s will likely be Zach Brown and Mason Foster, as Will Compton loses starting role with the signing. Even though the draft is always unpredictable, a playmaker at the inside linebacker position creates room for the Redskins to look outside of that position in the first round. Giving Washington an opportunity to draft a playmaker at defensive line, safety or even an offensive skill position.