The Washington Redskins cannot avoid drama and controversy, it seems. Just as the flames begin to settle down on the Mason Foster “F— this team and this fan base” controversy, fellow inside linebacker Zach Brown is pouring gas to the fire.
After Wednesday’s practice, Brown vented his frustrations over being benched in last Sunday’s start against the New York Giants in favor of rookie Shaun Dion Hamilton.
“I’m just sitting here just doing what I’m supposed to be doing till it’s time for me to leave,” Brown told reporters, per Craig Hoffman of 106.7 the Fan. “You see the writing on the wall. It is what it is. Just here now I just got to contribute to the team and help us get to the playoffs.”
Brown missed a couple of practices leading into the game due to an illness. He was able to suit up for the game, but coaches opted to start Hamilton instead. Hamilton played 28 defensive snaps, collecting eight tackles before exiting the game with a shoulder injury. The Redskins fell into a 34-0 halftime deficit against the Giants before eventually losing by a final score of 40-16, as they allowed 227 rushing yards in the game. Brown ultimately replaced him and played 28 snaps as well, collecting two tackles.
Brown signed a three-year deal worth $24 million in March after having a tremendous first-year with the Redskins in 2017 before a foot injury forced him to miss the final three games.
In 2018, Brown started the season off just as strong as he did the year before, as the Redskins jumped out to a 5-2 record and first-place in the NFC East behind a top-10 level defense. However, the team has struggled as of late, especially against the run, allowing 149.8 yards per game on the ground in the last six games. The team has gone 1-5 over that span, as the defensive struggles have been coupled by countless injuries on the offense, including both the top-two quarterbacks on the depth chart Alex Smith (broken fibula/tibia) and Colt McCoy (broken fibula).
As the Redskins’ season sours it appears the relationship between Brown and the coaching staff is as well. How the team moves forward with this along with Foster’s controversy may go a long way into how the season finishes for the team and their future with the organization.
Despite having a three-year deal in place, the Redskins could save $5.75 million of salary cap space if they part ways with Brown before the 2019 season, per Spotrac. Hard to imagine for a linebacker still rated No. 4 in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. However, that grade is strongly predicated in his run stopping abilities, something the team has struggled with in recent weeks. That coupled with this new locker room distraction and possible rift with coaches could spell the end of Brown’s time in Washington.