Brandon Meriweather's 5 year deal with the Redskins was set to automatically void 5 days after the Super Bowl on February 7th. The Redskins chose to let his contract void and did not attempt to restructure or extend his deal. The result on this year's cap was a $1.2 million dead cap hit from his contract. It also left a big need at the safety position with fellow starting safety Reed Doughty also entering free agency in March, and a lot of question marks on the depth chart.
The Redskins were in contact with several safeties in free agency including Jarius Byrd, Mike Mitchell and others. They were unable to sign anybody, and were also uninterested in some of the remaining options. The coaches felt that players like Chris Clemons weren't upgrades over Meriweather, and now they've decided to bring him back on a 1 year deal. Meriweather's had a very rough run with the Redskins. His first year was filled with various injuries, and he somehow found a way to get pregame warmups on the highlight reels. He will always be remember for his magical half game against the Eagles that some people credit with sparking a whole new defensive mindset, leading to a late season winning streak...
Last season, Meriweather was fined multiple times and suspended for helmet-to-helmets hits to Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy and Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall. The Marshall hit led to a 2 game suspension that was later reduced to 1 game. Meriweather vowed to hit lower in an attempt to avoid fines and suspensions, which was portrayed as a calculated war on the NFL's ACLs.
Meriweather's 1 year deal will provide a stop gap until they can find the long term solution to the position the Redskins have been seeking for years. The two rookies from last year, Bacarri Rambo and Phillip Thomas, will be given the opportunity in camp to win the starting position at the two open spots. Meriweather will most likely start unless another viable option is signed or drafted. The Redskins still have a strong need for safety going into the draft, but now have a safety with experience to fall back on in case they miss their targets in May. The Redskins are still talking to Ryan Clark about making a return, but the real question is, how long until Reed Doughty is re-signed?
No surprise with either news. From what I've gathered, Skins not wowed by second-tier S's, certainly not better than Brandon in their eyes.— John Keim (@john_keim) March 17, 2014
Brandon Meriweather one-year Redskins deal: $1 million total, $855,000 salary, $145,000 signing bonus— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) March 20, 2014