WASHINGTON — Bill Barnwell has created the perfect NFL roster.
OK, so that’s not true.
But, the ESPN columnist did create his idea of the perfect NFL roster, based on salary cap restrictions, as well as a few other restrictions he put in place for himself.
In total, he has 53 players, at least one from each team and no more than three from each team. The goal: Create the best possible roster, using all current NFL players, without going over the cap (or violating any of his other rules). The best strategy, of course, is to load up on talented players who have not yet reached free agency, therefore netting you an elite talent at a rookie cost.
That’s why players such as David Johnson ($800K salary), Odell Beckham ($3.31M salary) and Aaron Donald ($3.25M salary) are no-brainers.
However, most of the Redskins’ top players — Kirk Cousins, Josh Norman, Trent Williams, etc. — are on far pricier contracts.
So which players did make the cut for Washington?
One is fairly obvious, and that is guard Brandon Scherff. One of the league’s most impressive interior lineman and on a rookie contract, Scherff is logical pick for the offensive line of Barnwell’s perfect squad. His salary for the 2017 season is just $5.79 million, a number that will surely increase when he gets his next deal.
The other Redskin on the list also makes plenty of sense, but it’s perhaps one you might not have guessed: linebacker Zach Brown.
Brown, signed by Washington this past offseason, elevated his game a year ago to make the Pro Bowl as an inside linebacker. After failing to reach 100 tackles in each of his first three seasons — all with the Tennessee Titans — Brown exploded in his first and only season with the Buffalo Bills, piling up a whopping 149 tackles to finish second in the NFL. He also added four sacks and two forced fumbles while helping Buffalo to a sixth-place passing defense.
Aside from that duo, the only Redskins one might be able to call “snubs” from this team are probably Jamison Crowder ($751K salary) and Tress Way ($1.1M salary). Su’a Cravens ($970K salary) has the potential to appear on next year’s iteration of this list, but he still has to prove himself if he’s to overtake the likes of Landon Collins ($1.67M).
All this really means is Brandon Scherff and Zach Brown should be walking around Redskins Park bragging about being perfect. That’s what I’d be doing, anyway.