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Need to Know: Redskins' one-year deal for Zach Brown has risk and reward for both parties

Need to Know: Redskins' one-year deal for Zach Brown has risk and reward for both parties

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, April 4, 23 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 13
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 38
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 50
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 102
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 150

Three and out—Zach Brown edition

1. According Pro Football Talk and other such analysis sites, Zach Brown was the best available free agent still on the market. The Redskins brought him in for a visit yesterday morning and struck a deal with him in the afternoon.

To be sure, Brown was ranked in the 40’s when the ratings first came out. He’s not a game-changing talent but a solid addition to a defense that needs all the help it can get.

For right now, it looks like they will start Brown and Will Compton at the two inside linebacker spots and have Mason Foster come in for nickel situations, something he did well last year after Su’a Cravens went out with an injury.

2. Brown reportedly agreed to a one-year deal. We don’t have any financial terms yet but LB Kevin Minter, who started 32 games for the Cardinals in the last two years, signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Bengals last month. It is a safe assumption that Brown’s deal is somewhere in that vicinity, perhaps with some incentives that could add to his pay.

3. The Redskins now have two potential starters, Brown and WR Terrelle Pryor, on one-year deals.

Often it is the player’s choice. As noted, Brown was looking for around $6 million per year in a one-year deal. He didn’t find any takers. So instead of setting for whatever he could get over three or four years and get locked into that, he opts for a one-year deal that will give him a decent payday and hope that he can cash in next year. He’ll be 28 when free agency comes around in 2018 and he hopes to be able to cash in.

Brown is taking a risk of injury by doing this. He knows all about that; in 2015 he played in one game before a shoulder injury sidelined him for the rest of the year. But it’s a chance he’s willing to take.

In some cases the team may prefer the one-year deal as it minimizes their risk. Free agents aren’t always good fits into a team’s culture or system. Instead of committing to a long-term deal and committing the guaranteed money needed to get that deal done, a one-year deal essentially lets them rent before buying.

The risk for the team is if the player blows up and has a big season. They then may have a situation where the player may be priced out of their range

Out—Brown’s deal will pay him up to $4.65 million. If it all goes against this year’s cap (that will depend on how the incentives are structured) they will have about $6.6 million in 2018 cap space. The Redskins will be at the point where they will need to do something to create more room. They need about $2 million in net cap space to sign their draft picks and they will want about $5 million to ensure that they don’t have to coast across the finish line on fumes.

One way to get more space is to rework DeAngelo Hall’s contract, which calls for him to make $4.25 million this year. They also could save up to about $7.5 million by restructuring Trent Williams’ contract, converting some of his 2017 salary into signing bonus and spreading the cap hit out over the remaining four years of his contract.  

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins Week 3 injury report: Five are listed as questionable

Redskins Week 3 injury report: Five are listed as questionable

The Redskins had a tough, physical game against the Rams last Sunday and it shows on the team’s injury report. Five players are listed as questionable for the coming game against the Raiders at FedEx Field.

TE Jordan Reed (chest), RB Rob Kelley (ribs), ILB Mason Foster (shoulder), S Montae Nicholson (shoulder), and CB Josh Norman (shoulder) are the players who are questionable.

RELATED: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS' WIN IN LA

Of those players, Reed was the only one to miss a practice this week. He was out on Wednesday and was back on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday. The Pro Bowl tight end told reporters in the locker room that he will be in the lineup on Sunday.

There is particular concern about Kelley’s injury. He is likely to start as he usually does. But CSN is reporting that the team will have four running backs on the game day active list instead of the three they went with in Weeks 1 and 2. Mack Brown will dress for the Redskins after being inactive in both previous games.

MORE REDSKINS: A STRONG START FOR SMITH BUT MORE IS NEEDED

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Pierre Garcon was fantastic vs. the Rams, but don't lament his departure just yet

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Pierre Garcon was fantastic vs. the Rams, but don't lament his departure just yet

Thursday night's Rams-49ers game was surprisingly fun. It was also unofficially the Check Out All These Ex-Redskins Now Playing or Working in California Bowl.

Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan, two former Washington offensive coordinators, are now in charge of the two teams. Old 'Skins like Aldrick Robinson, Derek Carrier and John Sullivan, meanwhile, were a part of the on-field action.

It was Pierre Garçon, though, who pushed Burgundy and Gold fans to take their phones out of their pocket and pen sad tweets. That's because the 31-year-old wideout caught seven Brian Hoyer passes (that's impressive on its own, by the way) for 142 yards vs. Los Angeles on Thursday Night Football.

And while his team lost 41-39, Garçon didn't deserve to with plays like this:

MORE: 5 REDSKINS WHO'LL BE UNDER PRESSURE SUNDAY NIGHT

Even with that standout performance, however, Redskins fans shouldn't be cursing the franchise for letting Garçon go. Not yet, anyway.

This past march, the veteran left D.C. after five seasons to sign with San Fran. His deal was a rich one: five years for $47.5 million ($17 million guaranteed at signing). The Niners can get out of it after two years, but it still is a sizable contract even with that potential exit.

That kind of money is the first thing those who miss Garçon should think about. Now, the Redskins didn't exactly handle their negotiations with him that smoothly, but in the end, unless he gave Washington a nice discount, he just would've cost a lot to keep.

Secondly, it's easy to slam the 'Skins for losing Garçon while Kirk Cousins and Co. have stalled through two games in 2017. But the reason that's happening thus far has more to do with Cousins' inaccuracy in Weeks 1 and 2 and an offensive line that's not at the level it should be than with that familiar No. 88 not lining up outside anymore.

RELATED: NEGATIVES LEAD TO POSITIVES FOR CHRIS THOMPSON

Would Garçon have made a difference for the Redskins against the Eagles and Rams if he were still here? Yeah, probably. But when Jay Gruden's unit starts operating at its normal speed and precision — and it will — the upset voices lamenting Garçon's departure will get quieter.

This is nothing against the guy who was the NFL's 2013 receptions leader and who's well on his way to another productive campaign. It's just that it feels premature to make the connection that allowing him to move on is what's ailing the Washington offense, or that it was a disastrous decision. 

Give Garçon's far cheaper replacements (Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson) more time. Wait for the quarterback and his linemen to sync up again. In a league with just 16 games, that's very hard to do, but let's see if those in the area long for Garçon in December as much as they are currently longing for him in September.