WASHINGTON — When the Washington Redskins re-signed Mason Foster last week, he specifically talked about keeping the band together on defense, particularly with his fellow linebackers.
“We’re all really good friends,” he said, referring to impending free agents Zach Brown and Will Compton. “They’re around the building lifting and doing everything. I hope everybody comes back.”
Maybe the feeling isn’t mutual–at least not before seeing what else is out there.
Zach Brown signed with the Redskins on a one-year deal and showed that 2016’s Pro Bowl campaign was no fluke. Brown led the NFL in tackles for much of the season and shook off injuries to keep playing as the season wore on.
He finished the season with a team-leading 127 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 13 games. Brown is arguably the team’s best inside linebacker since London Fletcher, but with free agency beckoning, he may at least see what the market bears.
JP Finley, the Redskins beat reporter for NBC Sports Washington, had this update over the weekend:
It’s unclear who Finlay’s source is (team side or player side), so it’s unknown who feels like an offer may have been a lowball. Regardless, it’s positive that at least someone involved in the negotiations didn’t think Brown would be unhappy with the offer.
Finlay’s report follows up a similar report from our own Craig Hoffman, who said earlier last week that the two sides might be at an impasse:
The team’s public mindset is that Brown likely wants to see what he’s worth, if not outright leave.
If Brown hits free agency, the Redskins will have an immediate hole to fill at inside linebacker. Zach Vigil stepped up and played well down the stretch, but it could be a position that the Redskins target in free agency or the draft if they can’t get a deal worked out with Brown.
The league year and the start of free agency will take place at 4 p.m. on March 14.