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Redskins to host Pro Bowl LB Zach Brown for free agent visit, per report

Redskins to host Pro Bowl LB Zach Brown for free agent visit, per report

Free agents haven't found the usual buckets of money laying around in the NFL this offseason, and perhaps nobody exemplifies that like former Bills linebacker Zach Brown. A Pro Bowler in 2016, many expected Brown to cash in once free agency opened, but the market has been oddly depressed.

That could mean the Redskins can get a relative bargain for the 6-foot-1, 244 lbs., former second-round pick out of North Carolina. Brown is slated to visit Washington on Monday according to multiple reports.

Drafted by Tennessee in 2012, the 27-year-old Brown spent the first four seasons of his career with the Titans. He missed nearly two full years, however, fighting injuries before his breakout 149 tackle campaign in 2016 with the Bills. Only Bobby Wagner of the Seahawks made more tackles than Brown last season.

Inside linebacker is not necessarily a big need for the Redskins, as starters Mason Foster remains under contract and Will Compton is a restricted free agent, but Brown would be a boost for the linebacking group and provide a sure tackler in the center of Greg Manusky's retooled defense. 

In an unexpected development, many NFL players are signing one-year contracts this offseason. Brown has already visited with the Raiders and Dolphins, and logic would suggest he hasn't been met with a contract he finds suitable. Washington has brought in three new starters on the defense in the last month: defensive linemen Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain and safety D.J. Swearinger. All three of those players got multi-year contracts, though the team signed receiver Terrelle Pryor to a one-year deal. 

Cost will likely be an issue for the 'Skins to pursue Brown. Speaking with reporters in Phoenix at the NFL League Meetings, team president Bruce Allen suggested the Redskins would continue to monitor the free agent market but not to expect any splash signings. Consider that Washington has 10 draft picks approaching, and will need around $2 million to get all of those players under contract. 

As of now, the 'Skins are about $11 million under the salary cap. Brown is the type of player that could be a difference maker for Washington, and perhaps get the front office to open up the checkbook. 

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Report: 'There isn't a real price that will make Kirk Cousins happy' with Redskins

Report: 'There isn't a real price that will make Kirk Cousins happy' with Redskins

Following a slew of reports that cast doubt on the Redskins reaching a long-term deal with Kirk Cousins, ESPN's Dianna Russini tweeted Tuesday that the impass is not about money. 

If the report is true, then Washington has run out of good options for retaining Cousins in the long term.

It's possible the team could use a third-straight franchise tag to keep him next season, but the price tag around $34 million would be astronomical for one season.

The transition tag would be worth in the neighborhood of $28 million. 

Russini doesn't elaborate on the reasons behind her report that Cousins wouldn't be happy in Washington regardless of price. But it's important to note that both teams and players have incentive to create leverage in contract negotiations through the media. 

The Redskins have until July 17 to reach a long-term deal with Cousins. 

MORE REDSKINS: Backup center again a question mark for the Redskins

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Redskins 2017 depth chart preview: Interior offensive line

Redskins 2017 depth chart preview: Interior offensive line

Over the next few weeks, Rich Tandler will take a position-by-position look at the Redskins’ 2017 depth chart as the team enjoys some R&R ahead of training camp. Some positions are easy to handicap. Others have moving parts and, thus, are more complex. So, who’s in? And who’s in trouble?

Up today…

Position: Interior offensive line

On the roster: Guards Shawn Lauvao, Brandon Scherff, Arie Kouandjio, Tyler Catalina, Kyle Kalis, Isaiah Williams; Centers Spencer Long, Chase Roullier, Ronald Patrick

Locks: Lauvao, Scherff, Kouandjio, Long

As noted here this morning, there seemed to be a pretty good chance that Lauvao would be on his way out. But free agency and the draft went by and no serious challenger for him was acquired. It looks like they will let him play out the last year of his free agent contract and then see what they want to do with him next year when he will be a 30-year-old free agent.

RELATED: 3 Redskins who are up, 3 down

The Redskins might like Kouandjio, going into his third season, to emerge as a viable option as Lauvao’s successor. He was not up to the task in a couple of spot starts last year. But, just like Lauvao, he can take some comfort in the fact that the organization did not expend any major resources on bringing in another guard for competition.

Scherff went to the Pro Bowl in his second year in the league. He will be a fixture at right guard for the next decade or so, provided the Redskins can figure out a way to get a third high-priced offensive lineman under the salary cap (in addition to tackles Trent Williams and Morgan Moses).

Long did a solid job in his first year as the starting center. He will anchor the line again this year. He is eligible for a contract extension and it will be interesting to see if talks heat up between now and training camp.

On the bubble: Roullier

In an ideal Redskins world, the rookie sixth-round pick would be able to learn center and both guard spots well enough to be a workable fill-in on game days. In the real world, that may not work. During minicamp, offensive line coach Bill Callahan told me that while he had been impressed with how well Roullier had picked things up so far, the real test will come with the pads on in Richmond.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins 53-man roster projection, defense

Long shots: Catalina, Kalais, Williams, Patrick

You never know what will happen during the preseason but it seems that the practice squad is the best hope for any of these guys to be around Ashburn in the fall. If injury or issues with Roullier’s development create a hole in the depth chart in the 53-man roster the organization is likely to go outside to find help off the waiver wire. Two or three on this list are likely to be back for another shot in 2018.  

Redskins 2017 depth chart previews: Offensive tackle | Wide receiver

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.