Aside from Kirk Cousins, the most watched contract negotiation for the Washington Redskins is ILB Zach Brown. As the off-season looms, talks between the two have started, according to J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington. Finlay tweeted that head coach Jay Gruden confirmed talks have begun.
Jay Gruden tells me #Redskins have had conversations with Zach Brown’s representatives. Team wants Brown back but understands he might want to test free agent market.
— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) January 23, 2018
Interesting to note is the fact Finlay relays that the Redskins want Brown back, but understand if he wants to test free agency.
That could be for numerous of reasons that may include a lowball offer, Brown and his agent valuing him more than any Redskins offer or simply Brown would like to see what the market rate is for him.
Brown is coming off an impressive campaign after signing a one-year deal with Washington in 2017. He tallied 127 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two passes defensed in 13 games. His season was cut short after suffering injuries to both his knee and Achilles. His 9.8 tackles per game rate was a career-high for the inside backer. He was named as a Pro Bowl alternate for his stellar play.
Washington enters the off-season with four inside linebackers’ free agents. Brown is joined by Will Compton, Mason Foster, and Zach Vigil. All four started at least three games for the Redskins in 2017. Foster started the year at the Mike position, but a torn labrum placed him in injured reserved. Compton replaced Foster for three games at the Mike, but he too ended up on IR after Lisfranc sprain. Vigil started the final six games while Martrell Spaight started in place of Brown at the Mo position to close the season.
Brown appears to be the must-have of any of the inside backers for Washington. However, him re-signing with the Redskins appears to be no sure bet.