In an offseason filled with free agency questions, the Redskins answered one of them yesterday, re-signing ILB Mason Foster to a two year extension worth as much as $7 million. Originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he played out his rookie contract, Foster has spent the past three seasons in Washington. His 2017 campaign was shortened by a torn labrum that led to an IR stint, but he has been a solid piece on a defense that looked to be much improved before being blown up by a devastating series of injuries. His return brings some continuity and stability to the linebacking corps.
Foster is one of three linebackers the Skins are hoping to retain, along with Zach Brown and Will Compton. Brown, who was leading the league in tackles before being injured late in the season, will demand a high price. He finished ninth in the league with 127 tackles despite playing only thirteen games.) Depending on other free agent signings, particularly a potentially astronomical price tag if the team resigns QB Kirk Cousins, Brown may not fit in to the cap space the team has left to work with. If he goes, the Skins will likely make retaining Will Compton a high priority. The also have backup Zach Vigil, who often played in place of the injured Foster and would likely see an increased role if Brown doesn’t return.
The Redskins have now resigned a few key defensive pieces, which raises the question of whether they are planning to address the offense early in the draft. Depending on how things go with Cousins, signing a quarterback in the first round may become necessary, and this draft class has a few decent options for them. Shoring up the defensive side of the ball through smart free agency at least gives them some flexibility.