The Washington Redskins have made their most significant defensive acquisition nearly a month into free agency, agreeing to terms Monday with inside linebacker Zach Brown following his visit to Redskins Park, according to Brown's agent.
"Zach is now back home, where he's from, so it's a great homecoming," agent Michael Katz said. "The Redskins organization, starting from the head coach all the way down, was what really helped Zach make his decision. He's going to come in and be an instant leader there."
Brown, who attended Wilde Lake High and Hargrave Military Academy, will join the team with 49 career starts in five NFL seasons. He was viewed as one of the top inside linebackers during free agency, but Brown's asking price was reportedly higher than what NFL teams were willing to pay at the start of the signing period. He switched agents two weeks ago as a result.
Brown's addition is a notable upgrade at the position for the Redskins, who started Will Compton and Mason Foster at inside linebacker last year. The 2016 Pro Bowler had a breakout season in his only year with the Buffalo Bills, finishing second in the league with 149 tackles. Brown, 27, also had four sacks, four passes defended, one interception and two forced fumbles. Prior to his tenure with the Bills, Brown spent his first four seasons with the Tennessee Titans.
His decision was expected to come down to the Bills, Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders after visiting all three teams until he took a trip to Redskins Park. Brown is now one of seven inside linebackers on the roster, along with Foster, Martrell Spaight, Steven Daniels, Khairi Fortt and Pete Robertson. Compton, a restricted free agent, has yet to sign his tender. Washington placed a low tender on Compton prior to the start of free agency.