5. Retaining both starting linebackers Mason Foster and Zach Brown
One of the top story lines regarding the Redskins internal free agents came at the inside linebacker position. The team was set to have their top three players at the position, Mason Foster, Zach Brown, and Will Compton, hit the free agent market, and they needed to re-sign one at the very least if they wanted to stay competitive at the position.
And they did just that. They were able to retain Foster on a reasonable deal and they also inked Brown to a solid deal. The Brown deal was a big move, as many were wondering whether or not that deal would get done. By retaining those two, they were able to keep their starting linebacker corps in place, and they have nice depth behind them as a well.
Zach Vigil played well after being added midway through the season, and he figures to be a solid backup. Elsewhere, Martrell Spaight and Josh Harvey-Clemons both have potential, though the former may cede his roster spot to Shaun Dion Hamilton, who was taken in the sixth round.
By, retaining two starters at linebacker, the team avoided having to spend an early pick on the position in the draft. They were able to focus on other areas early and added a high upside guy like Hamilton in the later rounds.
Of all the free agents to retain, Brown and Foster were probably the most important duo. Given the heightened importance of three-down, non-pass rushing linebackers in the NFL, keeping the two starters for multiple years makes sense. Thus, the importance of re-signing both Brown and Foster can’t be overstated.