As we count down to the first game of the Redskins’ season, Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler are going to be looking at 20 big questions facing the team and attempting to look into their crystal balls and answer them.
Question 20: Will Jammal Brown take a snap for the Redskins this year?
The background: In 2010 the Redskins sent the Saints a third-round pick to trade for Brown, who had just missed the entire 2009 season with a sports hernia. A year ago they signed him to a five-year, $27.5 million contract with $5.2 million guaranteed. For their investment they have received spotty play from the two-time Pro Bowl performer. After an offseason regime that included yoga therapy, Brown can’t even get on the field as he has been on the PUP list after straining his hip while running wind sprints the day before camp started.
Tandler: I don’t believe that Mike Shanahan will rely on Brown to man the right tackle position. Even if he gets healthy now, a look at his history will tell you that he has only a slim chance of staying healthy. There are two potential outcomes here and neither of them involves Brown playing for the Redskins. They could put him on injured resere, ending his season. Or they could wait until he is healthy and release him, saving Brown’s $3.25 million salary. However they do it, Brown doesn’t see the field for the Redskins this year.
El-Bashir: Reading between the lines can be dangerous, particularly when dealing with a head coach who plays his cards so close to the vest. But when Mike Shanahan recently replied, "I have no idea" to a question about Brown's future, you've got to wonder if the veteran tackle has, indeed, played his last game in Washington. You've also got to question why he hasn't joined his injured teammates on the sidelines during practice. And while you ponder that, you might want to ask why the Redskins didn't foresee this possibility and hatch a backup plan in the offseason, whether that meant drafting a right tackle or signing one in free agency. Look, Tyler Polumbus might make us forget about all this. But right now Polumbus is as big a question mark as Brown.