The Philadelphia Eagles are signing free agent linebacker Zach Brown to a one-year contract, according to an official announcement from the team. Pro Football Talk reports the deal is worth $3 million.
How bout them eagles— Zach Brown (@ZachBrown_55) May 3, 2019
We previously mentioned Brown as a potential Eagles target with Jordan Hicks leaving to sign with the Cardinals. Philadelphia had a hole to fill at linebacker.
Brown, now 29, originally entered the league as the Titans’ second-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. He spent four years with Tennessee before signing with the Bills in 2016. Brown’s efforts in Buffalo earned him Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors.
Brown left the Bills to sign a one-year contract with Washington in 2017. He played well enough to get re-upped for 2018. Brown ultimately got benched late in the 2018 season, however, before getting cut in the offseason.
It’s fair to wonder just how good Brown can be for the Eagles. There is certainly reason for optimism; he actually finished the 2018 season as the third highest graded linebacker by Pro Football Focus. Anecdotally, I’ve always felt like Brown has been an active defender when I’ve watched Washington play. He sure doesn’t lack experience considering he has 74 career starts in 94 games played. Brown has logged 632 total tackles, 57 tackles for loss, 32 quarterback hits, 20 passes defensed, 17.5 sacks, seven interceptions, and six forced fumbles during that span.
Again, the Eagles were in need of linebacker help after losing Hicks and failing to address the position in the 2019 NFL Draft. Brown is a strong contender for playing time alongside Nigel Bradham. The Eagles still have Kamu Grugier-Hill, L.J. Fort, Paul Worrilow, and Nathan Gerry on the roster as well. The team is also reportedly set to sign undrafted rookie free agent T.J. Edwards. It feels like the team should be set at linebacker now.
For those wondering, this signing does not impact the Eagles’ compensatory pick formula since Brown was released by Washington earlier this offseason.
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Zach Brown was the highest-graded free agent left, regardless of position.— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 3, 2019
He put up career-highs in overall, run-defense and tackle grade last season with Washington, missing just 4 of his 95 total attempts last year.
He joins the #Eagles as 2018's third highest-graded LB. https://t.co/GI0qVr3P5j
Pure Redskins & Eagles here:— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) May 3, 2019
-WAS outbid market for Brown in 2018, giving him a 3-yr, $24M deal w $10M g'teed
-He crushed in 2018: 3rd best off-ball LB grade per PFF, solid in run-D, coverage & tackling
-WAS cut him after 2018 "to save cap $"
-PHI signed him to a 1-yr, $3M deal https://t.co/O0iTQjStSR
Stoked about this signing. To expand on this, Brown allowed receptions on 72.9% of targets and averaged just 8.1 yards per rec. QBs had a passer rating of 87.4 when throwing his way. These are all top 20 marks from 2018 (of 96 qualified LBs) https://t.co/Uh1WOzABqJ— Lee Sifford (@LeeSifford) May 3, 2019
Zach Brown can play all three positions, is physical, highly productive and will compete for playing time. Battled oblique injury last season in Washington but still had outstanding season, per Pro @PFF .— Dave Spadaro (@EaglesInsider) May 3, 2019
I love the Eagles signing of Zach Brown. They now have solid depth and competition at LB. Howie has done an outstanding job at building this roster.— Tommy Lawlor (@lawlornfl) May 3, 2019
Eagles sign LB Zach Brown. 29 years old. His 372 tackles over the past three seasons are second in the entire NFL to only Bobby Wagner.— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) May 3, 2019
Washington released him so this doesn't count against comp pick formula.