What Can Brown Do For You?

Washington Commanders


Unfortunately for the Redskins the answer to that question is not much. The latest update from the Washington Post on the Brown injury report is not promising. Brown received a second cortisone injection, in hopes of avoiding another surgery. Despite more than two weeks of rehab and the two shots, the hip hasn’t seemed to respond well at all, increasing the likelihood that Brown has played his last snaps with the Redskins.

If the Redskins don’t see any progress soon I can’t see how the Redskins don’t end up putting him on injured reserve. Given the chronic injuries and ineffectiveness, Brown’s expensive contract and the Redskins poor cap situation next year, it seems like a given that he will be a cap casualty next season. This would shut the door on perhaps the biggest blunder of Mike Shanahan’s tenure with the Redskins (technically he blundered twice, with the trade and re-signing him). Given the resources involved and the lack of a fall back plan, it would be error that undoubtedly set this team back.

The worst part about all of this is that it was anything but unexpected. Brown has basically been an injury issue since the Redskins traded for him right before training camp in 2010 (obviously he was an injury concern before that as well). He missed more than two weeks of training camp/preseason his first year due to his hip injury, and missed the majority of three games during the season. Then last year, despite the claims that he was fully healed, Brown made just 12 starts and was even more ineffective than he was the year before.

Despite this track record, the Redskins signed just one free agent offensive linemen, tackle James Lee, and used a late 6th round pick on Tom Compton. Lee wasn’t considered much of a signing at the time, and is completely buried on the Redskins current depth chart. Though Compton is considered to have some nice upside, the Redskins would have probably been better off addressing their tackle position in the 3rd round (Donald Stephenson, Tony Bergstrom, Bobby Massie), rather than their needs at guard. Compton just isn’t close to ready to being a starting option. Now the Redskins will be forced to rely on some combination of Tyler Polumbus, Maurice Hurt and Tom Compton this season to help protect their rookie quarterback.

The Redskins ignoring this problem not only causes immediate concerns about protecting their investment in Griffin, but it also raises the question about how to fix it going forward. Given the future cap situation (and cutting Brown will equal over $3 million in dead cap next year) the Redskins won’t be able to be aggressive in the free agent market (in fact it will be tough to sign anyone above the James Lee level of contracts). This leaves the draft as the only alternative, but without a first round pick it makes it harder to address their needs at other positions.

The failure of Brown to live up to his “status” and hype (to say nothing of his contract), has hurt the Redskins both in the short and long term. It also brings to mind serious questions about why the offensive line hasn’t been given more of a priority under Mike Shanahan. Hopefully the lesson has been learned and the Redskins will look to address this issue in the draft next year.

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