- One more week of football to watch, and as a Redskins fan, it almost feels like I’m looking forward to being on the other side of this Super Bowl, as opposed to the buildup to it. I would expect that many of you feel the same way. It seems pretty clean to root against the Philadelphia Eagles, but there is something very depressing about the prospect of watching the New England Patriots hoist another trophy. I guess on the plus side, I am one of those people that watches the same movie multiple times. I am someone who will catch a rerun of a show that I have seen before every now and again. That might help slightly with the Groundhog Day nature of listening to Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick talk about Tom Brady while confetti streams down onto the field in Minneapolis.
- Let’s just get this catty thought out of the way—before we are subjected to hearing the New England fans thanked for being the greatest fans in the world. I am not sure there is an easier sports town to hail from and support than the New England area. Between the Boston Celtics, the Boston Bruins, the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots, those fans have seen EVERY team win a title in the last decade or so. They have also been regulars in conference championships this century. I apologize for not having the exact stat handy, but if you are a Boston fan, I think I heard you have had a team in a conference championship 14 of the last 16 years (research department is checking on this statistic). So, by all means, CONGRATULATIONS to our New England brethren, but you only have to look to the other sideline in the Super Bowl to see a fanbase that has weathered a much...harsher fandom. And damn...is that me sticking up for Philly fans? I hate this Super Bowl.
- On to our own business. The reporting surrounding the on-again, off-again contract negotiations with Zach Brown has been a bit all over the map. Some have reported that the Redskins low-balled Brown and he is now going to test the market while others have reported that the team did NOT low-ball Brown and talks continue. This will go on and on I’m sure. Even though the Redskins have established their ability to low-ball the crap out of players that have proven they can deliver for the burgundy and gold, it bears mentioning that Zach Brown is not universally sought-after in this league. Coming off of a Pro Bowl and entering free agency last year, the league was so enamored with the prospect of signing him that he was still available for a one-year contract at the butt-end of free agency for the Redskins. Again, it is true that Brown crushed it for us. Labeled a “scheme-specific” player, his talents fit our scheme in an ideal fashion. That said, the Redskins are not in a position to overpay Brown—most notably because of the decision coming at the quarterback position. He came rather cheaply last season, and that kind of thing rarely repeats itself. On one hand, I am sure Brown’s agent feels confident he can get more for his client. On the other hand, the Redskins likely feel that they are not exactly bidding against the rest of the league for the services of a player that many feel is best-suited to a specific scheme.
- Having seen what Brown did for us this season, I sure am hoping this works itself out and he returns to our locker room in 2018, because we are better with him. If I’m being brutally honest though, and I had to choose between spending top dollar on Brown (some out there are suggesting he may want to be paid like a top-3/top-5 inside linebacker) or using my salary cap space to chase Jarvis Landry and draft an ILB in the first or second round of the draft...I’m paying and playing the rookie and bringing in the top WR free agent I can get. Who knows if that is the calculation Bruce Allen is making right now? With Mason Foster in tow, they might feel a lot better about stringing out the Brown decision. (As long as we’re being clear...Mason Foster’s presence does not lessen my desire for Zach Brown to be playing on the inside next year.)
- As a more fun topic to beat around—was there anyone playing in the Pro Bowl that is about to be a free agent that caught your eye? I understand the game is far from an exhibition of true talent, but every year, the Pro Bowl allows for a few in-depth stories to be told on the side about some of these players. Invariably, these looks at the league’s top talents cause me to have that thought: “I wonder if he would fit in on MY squad?”
- For those that have been giving us a listen/view each week, this week’s episode of The Audible is open in terms of top free agency topics folks want to discuss (we very much appreciate the approximately 2k-3k viewers we have been getting on the video pieces). If you have a specific player, or coach, or scheme, or anything else burning a hole in your brain, let us know. Maybe you just want to talk about Sean McVay and his recent trip to Maui. I can’t be sure...but I feel like that trip was just in the news for...some reason. Thoughts?
Redskins fans—as a group—aren’t 100% in love with this upcoming Super Bowl.