We might never know if the Pittsburgh Steelers had any interest in signing linebacker Zach Brown to a free agent contract. What we do know, however, is that Brown will play with the Washington Redskins in 2017.
Brown, who registered 149 tackles, four sacks, one interception, four passes defensed and two forced fumbles last season with the Buffalo Bills, ended his free agent touring process on Monday by reportedly signing a one-year contract worth up to $4.65 million with the Redskins, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. That deal reportedly included a signing bonus of $500,000.
It will be interesting to see how much of Brown’s contract is ultimately tied to incentives. Regardless, $4.65 million appears to be a bargain and especially when you consider that former Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons signed a two-year, $12 million free agent contract with the Miami Dolphins at the start of the new league year that included $11 million in guarantees.
In my opinion, Brown, would have been a nice one or two-year replacement for Timmons and especially when it came to passing situations. For now, the Steelers appear to be confident with the notion of having linebacker Vince Williams replace Timmons in the Steelers defense even though they did attempt to sign linebacker Dont’a Hightower several weeks ago. Hightower, who made a free agent visit to Pittsburgh after Timmons signed with the Dolphins, ultimately decided to re-sign with the New England Patriots.
With Brown now no longer a free agent, Gerald Hodges appears to be the best-available inside linebacker that remains unsigned. Hodges, who played his college football at Penn State, spent most of the last two years with the San Francisco 49ers after they acquired him via a trade with the Minnesota Vikings during the 2015 regular season. Hodges recorded 83 total tackles last season in addition to three sacks, two interceptions, and one forced fumble.