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Need to Know: Will LB Zach Brown's visit to Redskins Park end with a contract?

Need to Know: Will LB Zach Brown's visit to Redskins Park end with a contract?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, April 3, 24 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 14
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 39
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 51
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 103
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 151

Will the Zach Brown visit lead to a contract?

The Redskins are scheduled to bring linebacker Zach Brown in for a visit today.

As we all have learned, a visit does not necessarily mean a signing. It may not even mean serious interest in the part of the Redskins. This could be a favor to his agent to try to wake up the Raiders, who seem to be dragging their feet after they seemed to be near a deal a week ago. Or perhaps the Redskins will make a serious bid and end up signing him.

If he signs a one-year deal, which seems to be a trend this year among players who aren’t getting what they want in long-term deals, it would be his second such contract in a row. Brown will be 28 around midseason and he should perhaps try to get some security on a multi-year deal instead facing the prospect of playing for his fourth different team in four seasons in 2018. It’s hard for a player to realize his potential with such a lack of stability.

Should Brown sign, he likely would become the starter at Mo linebacker (or whatever Greg Manusky calls the inside LB who isn’t the Mike). The five-year veteran could bring an element of speed and athleticism that is lacking at the position. Mason Foster, who finished last year strong as the nickel linebacker after Su’a Cravens was injured, could return to that role with Cravens moving to safety.

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Brown was a playmaker last year, with an interception, two forced fumbles, and four sacks for the Bills. For his career he has seven picks, four forced fumbles, and 14 sacks.

Back to a potential contract, the Redskins have about $11.3 million in salary cap space. They would have a tough time signing him to a one-year deal for $5-$6 million, the salary range he reportedly has been seeking. That would leave them very tight on cap space. They need about $2 million to sign their draft picks. A $5 million hit would possibly have them needing to restructure or renegotiate some contracts to have enough of a cushion to get through the season.

If they can get him to agree to a multiyear deal, however, they could squeeze a three-year contract averaging $5 million per year into about $3 million in 2017 cap space. That would be something they should take a serious look at as Brown would be an upgrade on a defense that can use all the improvement it can get.

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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QB run will come at NFL Draft, but when it happens matters most for Redskins

QB run will come at NFL Draft, but when it happens matters most for Redskins

Quarterbacks will come off the board in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night. That much is certain. Where those quarterbacks come off the board, however, matters much more for the Redskins. 

Mitchell Trubisky will be the first passer off the board, and depending on the information, he could be drafted as high as the first overall pick, and will certainly go early.

Trubisky, though, seems like the only certainty of a QB going early. Questions plague guys like Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. Those guys could all go in the first half of the draft, but they could all slide into the 20s as well. 

For Washington, the earlier quarterbacks get drafted the better. It seems highly unlikely the Redskins make a draft day trade of QB Kirk Cousins, limiting hardly any interest in a first-round passer.

The more passers that go before the 'Skins pick at 17 means the more high-quality players slide down the draft board. Look around the internet at lists of the best prospects available. Hardly any signal callers crack the Top 20, but the positional need at QB demands the position be overdrafted.

Though the Burgundy and Gold continue to slow-play contract talks with Cousins, he is under contract for 2017 and the team holds an option for 2018. That means Bruce Allen can sit in his draft room and potentially be a trade partner for a team that wants to land a QB, or just wait patiently and watch as they come off the board and send other desirable prospects closer to 17.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Need to Know: Redskins’ needs line up well with the strength of the draft

Need to Know: Redskins’ needs line up well with the strength of the draft

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, April 25, one day before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 16
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 28
—Training camp starts (7/27) 92
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 137

Wrapping up the Redskins pre-draft presser

We’ve looked at a some of what Redskins college scouting director Scott Campbell said during his pre-draft press conference on Monday, covering possible trades, who makes the final call on those trades, and how the organization handles character issues. Here are a few more bullet points from Campbell’s presser:

—Asked if the Redskins would draft to fill needs or take the best available player, Campbell gave the stock answer. “I guess as you asked the question, you kind of framed it and the way I’m going to frame the answer, and the age-old answer of ‘I’m going to take the best player available,’” he said “And if that serves your needs, that’s a bonus.” So, there you go. That said, don’t be surprised if the best players as defined by the Redskins in the first few also happen have the “bonus” of filling one the team’s top two or three needs.

—The needs could line up well because the strength of the draft as Campbell sees it coincides with side of the ball where the Redskins need the most help. “Well, I’m excited because I think it’s one of the strongest, deepest classes on the defensive side of the ball that I’ve seen,” he said. “I’ve told the guys upstairs I’m excited because we’re going to get better . . . And several different positions – sometimes it’s just maybe defensive line or outside backers or corners. Across the board on defense, I’m really excited about the class and the guys we’re going to bring in are going to help us.”

—The draft board is still used after the draft ends and the scramble for undrafted free agents starts up. “There’s going to be guys left on the bottom of that board that didn’t get drafted that we had rated as draftable,” said Campbell. “So that’s our No. 1 targets. I assign a scout to all the coaches, and really the coaches talk to the players – once the draft ends, let me be clear, it’s after the draft ends when we start making calls – the scouts are on the phone with the agent finding out what our competition is, how much.” Campbell said that money isn’t much of a factor in recruiting the undrafted players; selling opportunity is the key.

—The draft board was influenced by former GM Scot McCloughan but adjustments have been made since he was fired in early March. “Well, he certainly had influence on it because we all met as we always did the last couple of years and every team does. You meet right after the all-star games before you go to the combine and kind of get an initial ranking of how you like the guys. Of course Scot hadn’t been here since, so just like when he was here before, there’s adjustments being made to the board with the new information.”

—The 2016 draft class did not contribute a lot but does not mean that there is more pressure on the organization to do better this year. The pressure is always there regardless. “Always pressure. Every year’s pressure,” said Campbell. “I grew up in an NFL household. My dad was a coach and a player for 40 years. Pressure every year to perform, that’s what the NFL is. You’ve got to perform every year.” His father was Marion Campbell who played in the NFL for eight years and then coached for 21 seasons including stints as the head coach of the Eagles and Falcons.

—Campbell also asked for a little patience with the 2016 draft class, citing a group from a few years ago. “It takes a couple of years to develop a class,” said Campbell. “People are saying the ‘14 class had some success. Well, if I read articles and see what happened and what was said right after that draft, our grades in the mock drafts were not very good. It takes time. Morgan Moses didn’t start his first year, you know, but he’s come on to be one of the best right tackles in the league. That’s my opinion anyway. It takes time to develop. I still think with time, that class [2016] will be just fine.” I guess I buried the lede here—Campbell reads draft grades.

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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