The Washington Redskins signed Pro Bowl free-agent linebacker Zach Brown to a one-year deal Monday afternoon, according to the team. Brown, 27, spent last season in Buffalo after spending his first four years in the league in Tennessee. The Titans drafted him in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of the University of North Carolina.

Brown is coming off a break-out season in which he recorded a career-best 149 tackles, two forced fumbles and four sacks, which led to his first Pro Bowl appearance back in January. For his career, he has seven picks, four forced fumbles, and 14 sacks total.

Brown had already visited the Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, and his former team, the Buffalo Bills in the last few weeks. His agent, Michael J Katz announced the signing on Twitter.

Redskins defense is the top priority this offseason

The Redskins entered this offseason looking to improve a defense that has routinely been one of the worst in football the last few years. The team needed to address some serious issues at the safety position, while also trying to build their defensive front seven up. While Washington has decent depth at outside linebacker/edge rusher, they lacked a true middle linebacker with strong athletic ability and physical presence that could cover ground in 2016. The signing of Brown gives the defense exactly what they needed, he can also play outside.

The team will try to effectively use his versatility as much as possible on third downs, as that appeared to be a major issue last season.

The Redskins still have Mason Foster and Martrell Spaight at inside linebacker, but restricted free agent Will Compton, who has been training with London Fletcher this offseason, hasn’t signed the deal Washington offered him a few weeks back.

The team is in a position now where they might not match an offer made to Compton by another franchise. They could still look to draft another inside linebacker as you can never have enough good players.

The Redskins have four new starters on defense

While the team lost some players on day one of free agency, they have added some since as well.

The Redskins signed defensive lineman Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee, safety DJ Swearinger, receivers Brian Quick and Terrelle Pryor, and now inside linebacker Zach Brown this offseason.

There are some who don't view Brown as an instant 'home-run' for Washington. But honestly, those individuals cannot deny that he's better than anyone the team already had at the position. Most viewed Brown as the top available inside linebacker on the free agent market this year. With his signing, the competition at training camp among the linebackers should be fun to watch.

McGee, Swearinger, Pryor and Brown will start. As will Su’a Cravens, who is making a position change from linebacker to safety. Washington will have a much different looking defense in 2017 with those four new starters, but still needs to look to the draft for more defensive lineman.

The team will more than likely draft the best player that’s available when they are officially ‘on the clock’ at pick number 17 in three weeks.

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