Zach Brown

East Notes: Jets, Redskins, Samuel, Eagles

The Ravens’ trade of defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan could impact the Jets‘ asking price for Sheldon Richardson, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com details. Gang Green may still be asking for a first-round pick in exchange for Richardson, but they’re highly unlikely to reap that level of compensation. When accounting for the draft picks swapped by Baltimore and Philadelphia, the Eagles gave the equivalent of a late third-rounder for Jernigan, as Cimini writes (using Chase Stuart of Football Perspective‘s model, the Eagles paid much less: a late fifth-round pick). Jernigan is also much cheaper in 2017, as he’ll earn just north of $1MM while Richardson will take in more than $8MM.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • New Redskins linebacker Zach Brown was reportedly looking for $6MM per year on the open market, but his new deal won’t pay him anywhere near that total. Brown’s one-year pact has a base value of only $2.25MM and comes with $700K guaranteed, per Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post (Twitter links). He’ll earn a base salary of $1.5MM and can earn $250K in per-game roster bonuses. Another $2.3MM is available via incentives, which are tied to playing, Pro Bowl and All Pro nods, and Washington making the postseason.
  • Ohio State WR/RB Curtis Samuel will work out for the Eagles on April 11, tweets Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. As Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com observes, Samuel while likely end up as a slot receiver in the NFL after playing running back at the collegiate level, but he could still manage 8-10 carries per game out of the backfield. Philadelphia’s running back corps currently boasts Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, and Ryan Mathews, the latter of whom is still a release candidate.
  • Patrick Robinson‘s one-year deal with the Eagles is worth only the minimum salary of $775K and contains no guaranteed money, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Initial reports indicated Robinson would make $1MM in 2017, so it’s possible the single-year pact will have a maximum value of $1MM. If incentives are involved, however, Robinson’s deal contract would not qualify for the minimum salary benefit. Robinson, 29, appears to be on track to start for Philadelphia next season, pending the results of the draft.

Redskins To Sign LB Zach Brown

The Redskins have agreed to terms with free agent linebacker Zach Brown, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The deal is pending a physical. Brown signed a one-year deal worth a maximum value of $4.65MM, including a $500K signing bonus (Twitter link).Brown was once said to be seeking a multi-year pact in the $6MM range, but this isn’t a bad outcome for an April signing.
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Brown, one of only four PFR Top 50 free agents who were unsigned going into Monday, was linked to several clubs in recent weeks. Ultimately, it’s the Redskins that are coming away with him, but the Raiders, Dolphins, Colts, and the incumbent Bills all showed varying levels of interest. The Raiders and Dolphins were said to be the two finalists for Brown, but word later leaked out that the Fins were not likely to sign him. The Colts may have backed out after adding fellow linebacker Sean Spence.

The Redskins have starting linebackers Mason Foster and restricted free agent Will Compton returning to the fold this year. Brown, it seems, will come in as an upgrade over Compton. Compton ranked as the No. 74 linebacker in the league last season, per Pro Football Focus, while Brown placed 17th.

After racking up 149 total tackles, four sacks, and two forced fumbles for the Bills last season, Brown entered March with hopes of cashing in. Ultimately, his age and lack of history as a top quality ‘backer hampered his market and limited his list of suitors.

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Zach Brown To Visit Redskins

Zach Brown‘s free agent tour will continue, as the veteran linebacker will take a meeting with the Redskins on Monday, according to John Keim of ESPN.com (Twitter link)."<strong

Brown, one of only four PFR Top 50 free agents who remains unsigned, has been linked to several clubs over the past month, including the Raiders, Dolphins, Colts, and Bills. At one point, Brown was thought to be choosing between Oakland and Miami, but the Fins are now not expected to sign the 27-year-old. Reportedly looking for a multi-year pact in the $6MM range, Brown has yet to find a team willing to match that ask.

Washington, meanwhile, has two starting linebackers returning in the forms of Mason Foster and restricted free agent Will Compton, but Brown would be an upgrade on the latter. Compton ranked as only the No. 74 linebacker in the league last season, per Pro Football Focus, while Brown placed 17th.

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Dolphins Unlikely To Sign Zach Brown

The Dolphins don’t appear likely to sign free agent linebacker Zach Brown, tweets Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post.Zach Brown (vertical)

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Brown, who has also been linked to the Bills, Colts, and Raiders, was at one point thought to be deciding between Oakland and Miami, but there’s been no movement in his market since that report was issued a week ago. The Dolphins, for what it’s worth, don’t appear to be going all-out in an effort to sign Brown.

The lion’s share of our focus right now is on the draft,” EVP of football operations Mike Tannenbaum said this week. “If an opportunity came along, we’d evaluate it appropriately. But our focus is really on the draft and something comes along, we’ll certainly look at it.”

Any lingering issue between Brown and the Dolphins almost certainly comes down to price. Brown earned just north of $1MM in 2016 and is now likely aiming to cash in after an excellent season. But while Brown may be looking for a contract in the $6MM range, Miami is only comfortable paying him $3-4MM annually.

Brown, 27, is one of only four of PFR’s Top 50 Free Agents who remain unsigned. He’s also our top-ranked linebacker, ahead of Perry Riley, Gerald Hodges, and DeAndre Levy.

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AFC Notes: Texans, Browns, Jimmy G., Fins

The Texans plan to discuss a contract extension with head coach Bill O’Brien after next season, according to owner Bob McNair (via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle). The 2017 campaign will be the penultimate year of O’Brien’s contract, and he has thus far led the typically quarterback-weak Texans to three nine-win showings and two playoff berths.

Houston continues to be in dire need of help under center, of course, which McNair realizes. “It’s important that we upgrade the play at quarterback,” he told McClain. McNair did express confidence in incumbent starter Tom Savage, though he’s leery of the 26-year-old’s durability issues. “He’s played twice (in regular season) and gotten hurt twice,” McNair noted. “That’s our only concern with Tom. He’s smart enough. He knows the system. He’s got a good arm. I think he can get the job done, but if we depend on him, and he gets hurt in the first or second game . . .”

Savage is only atop the Texans’ depth chart now because of the horrid play of Brock Osweiler, whom they traded to the Browns earlier this month. The move was “a shocker” for McNair, who “couldn’t believe” general manager Rick Smith was able to dump Osweiler’s contract on the Browns (albeit at the cost of a second-round pick). Osweiler is just a year into the four-year pact the Texans handed him as a free agent last offseason. Featuring high cap hits and $37MM in guarantees, the deal quickly became an albatross, and McNair has a theory on why things went so poorly for Osweiler in Houston (via McClain). “(O’Brien) didn’t have a chance to get to know him. That’s one of the problems with free agency,” lamented McNair. “In the draft, we’re able to bring them to Houston, sit down with them, watch them interviewed by a bunch of coaches, and you have time to check them out. You can’t talk to them before they become a free agent. You can’t work them out. We didn’t know him that well.”

Texans brass, including McNair, all seemed to love Osweiler last March, but he then bombed on the field and didn’t mesh with O’Brien in his lone Houston season.

More from the AFC:

  • “An NFL source familiar with all the principals involved” speculates the Browns will “make another run” at Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo at the league meetings, ESPN.com’s Tony Grossi writes. Business tends to go down at the league meetings with everyone in the same place and we could see trade talks get a jumpstart this week in Phoenix. If a trade does happen, however, the same source says it might not occur until closer to the draft on April 27.
  • Free agent linebacker Zach Brown is reportedly choosing between the Dolphins and Raiders, but Miami’s Mike Tannenbaum-led front office doesn’t seem to be going all-out to sign him, observes Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. “The lion’s share of our focus right now is on the draft,” said Tannenbaum, the team’s executive vice president of football operations. “If an opportunity came along, we’d evaluate it appropriately. But our focus is really on the draft and something comes along, we’ll certainly look at it.”
  • Defensive tackle Mike Pennel‘s one-year contract with the Jets is worth $990K, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. There’s no guaranteed money in the deal, but it does come with up to $250K in roster bonuses and a $50K workout bonus.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Zach Brown Deciding Between Raiders, Dolphins?

Several teams have pursued Zach Brown this offseason, but the UFA linebacker may be down to his final two choices. Brown is believed to be deciding between the Dolphins and Raiders, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports.

Brown has visited the Dolphins, Raiders and Bills, while the Colts have expressed interest as well. While Oakland and Miami believe they’re in the running for the non-rush linebacker, neither looks set to meet Brown’s asking price of $6MM per year, Salguero notes. The south Florida-based writer reported earlier this week the Dolphins would be more comfortable paying Brown a deal in the $3MM- or $4MM-per-year range.

The Dolphins have been active this month in reshaping their linebacking corps, signing Lawrence Timmons as a UFA, restructuring Koa Misi‘s deal and extending Kiko Alonso. Brown would seemingly take Misi’s place in the lineup, with the 30-year-old middle ‘backer taking a pay cut to stay in south Florida, if he were to sign with the Dolphins.

Either way, Brown would be moving from a 3-4 defense to a base 4-3 look. The Raiders signed former Dolphins outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins to likely play the weakside spot but have a need inside. Bruce Irvin plays as an outside linebacker in the Raiders’ 4-3 base but slides to defensive end in pass-rush situations, leaving an opening in nickel sets. Raiders 2016 middle linebacker Perry Riley remains a free agent. He of 149 tackles in a standout season in Buffalo, Brown ranks as PFR’s No. 1 linebacker remaining in free agency. Riley sits No. 2 on this list but hasn’t generated nearly as much interest.

If Oakland sought to outmuscle Miami for Brown, the team has $32MM-plus in cap space compared to the Fins’ $15MM. But the Raiders have a possible Derek Carr extension coming this year, almost certainly contributing to their free agency plan.

Previously viewed as a plus-coverage ‘backer with the Titans, Brown experienced a tepid market for his services as a first-time UFA last year. A deal in the $3-$4MM-AAV range would put him below lesser names like A.J. Klein ($5MM AAV), or $4MM-per-year players Tahir Whitehead or Damario Davis on the inside linebacker salary spectrum. Fellow UFA Kevin Minter signed a one-year, $4.25MM deal with the Bengals last week.

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FA Notes: Fins, Seahawks, Redskins, Jags

Although the Dolphins and free agent linebacker Zach Brown are fairly far apart in negotiations, the club still believes it has a chance to land him, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (Twitter link). In order for an agreement to happen, though, Brown will have to reduce his asking price, which is in the range of $6MM per annum on a multiyear deal.

More from the open market:

  • The Seahawks hosted linebacker Terence Garvin on a visit Wednesday, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Garvin, 27, spent last year with Washington and was with the Steelers in the previous three seasons. Garvin has 59 career appearances on his resume but just one start.
  • Along with Garvin, the Seahawks met with yet another linebacker, Gerald Hodges, on Wednesday. The two sides “had a good visit,” though there’s no deal yet, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Hodges is coming off a quietly impressive season that saw him tally 80 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions in 15 games (12 starts) with San Francisco. He also graded 21st among Pro Football Focus’ 87 qualified linebackers.
  • The Redskins and running back Tim Hightower had a meeting, but they aren’t moving toward an agreement, reports John Keim of ESPN.com. It doesn’t appear that will change anytime soon, with Keim noting that Washington could circle back to Hightower as an insurance option down the road.
  • The Jaguars worked out free agent kicker Zach Hocker today, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Incumbent Jacksonville kicker Jason Myers‘ field goal conversion rate dipped below 80% last season, and he also missed three extra points, so the Jags may be open to adding competition. Hocker. 25, last appeared in the NFL in 2015 as a member of the Saints and Rams. Jacksonville also auditioned punter Tom Hornsey, adds Wilson.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Latest On Dolphins’ Free Agent Targets

The Dolphins still want to sign free agent linebacker Zach Brown, but Brown is likely looking for a multi-year pact in the range of $6MM annually, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Miami, meanwhile, would be more comfortable paying $3-4MM per year. Brown, who’s been linked to the Bills, Raiders, and Colts in addition to the Dolphins, is “exploring all options” at the moment, as his agents tell Mike Rodak of ESPN.com.Zach Brown (vertical)

Miami has also inquired on defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, and have in fact called on him “a half dozen times,” reports Salguero, but Hankins is still looking for more money than the Dolphins are willing to expend. Hankins, 25, is hoping to reel in $10MM annually on a multi-year contract, an asking price that appears unlikely to be met at this juncture. The Giants want to re-sign Hankins, but are reportedly hoping for a quick response on their outstanding offer.

Clearly, the Dolphins are searching for a defensive tackle to play alongside Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips, but former Miami defender Jared Odrick won’t be returning to town. While Odrick would like to reunite the Dolphins, the club won’t be placing a call to Odrick for “multiple reasons,” per Salguero, who doesn’t specify what those reasons may be. The Patriots worked out Odrick last month, but Odrick isn’t interested in playing for New England, says Salguero.

Finally, free agent defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois won’t be on the Dolphins’ radar as the team doesn’t view him as a scheme fit, according to Salguero. Jean-Francois has visited the Packers, Seahawks, and Bears since being released by the Redskins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

FA Notes: Davis, Brown, Vikings, Eagles

Assorted notes pertaining to this year’s free agents…

  • Free agent tight end Kellen Davis visited the Browns today, reports ESPN.com’s Field Yates (via Twitter). The former fifth-rounder has played in 24 games (16 starts) for the Jets over the past two seasons. In parts of nine NFL seasons, the 31-year-old has compiled 53 receptions for 579 yards and 13 touchdowns.
  • The Dolphins hosted free agent linebacker Zach Brown yesterday, and Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald tweets that the team “wants” the former Bill. However, he also notes that the organization isn’t willing to pay big or engage in a bidding war. Meanwhile, Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com writes that Brown could also be an option for the Raiders. The 27-year-old fired his agent earlier today.
  • Nose tackle Domata Peko had previously said the Vikings were pursuing him in free agency. However, according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (on Twitter), head coach Mike Zimmer said today that the organization never had interest in the long-time Bengals lineman. Peko ultimately signed with the Broncos earlier this month.
  • Yahoo’s Charles Robinson tweets that the Eagles had offered defensive tackle Bennie Logan a “sizable extension offer” during the season, which the player turned down. The veteran ultimately had to settle for a one-year deal from the Chiefs worth $8MM.

Linebacker Zach Brown Fires Agent

Linebacker Zach Brown is apparently frustrated with how free agency has gone thus far. On Tuesday morning, Brown fired agent Carl Carey and signed with Jason and Michael Katz of CSE Talent (Twitter link). Zach Brown (vertical)

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Brown now ranks as PFR’s top free agent linebacker and he’s one of the most talented free agents left on the board at ay position. We expected Brown to cash in after a career year, but he hasn’t garnered as much interest as anticipated. The Colts and Raiders both met with Brown, but the Colts have since signed linebacker Sean Spence and the Raiders might be done with LB shopping in free agency after adding Jelani Jenkins. Right now, his market might be comprised of just two teams. Brown is currently visiting with the Dolphins and, as NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets, he’ll meet with the incumbent Bills once he’s done there.

If the Dolphins sign Brown and convince Kiko Alonso to play outside linebacker, they could have a strong veteran LB starting cast with the two of them plus offseason addition Lawrence Timmons. The Bills, meanwhile, would like to retain Brown after successfully re-signing fellow free agent ‘backers Lorenzo Alexander and Ramon Humber.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.