While a majority of this week's focus around the NFL is on potential 2018 draft picks, the Redskins continue to check in with their pending free agents about re-signing in Washington.
The Washington Redskins have remained in contact with their soon-to-be unrestricted free agents as the clock ticks down to the free agency period opening next month.
Currently, the Redskins have only re-signed one pending free agent: veteran linebacker Mason Foster.
While the Redskins have yet to come to terms on new contracts with the 17 other unrestricted free agents, Washington has been in touch with their camps for potential agreements.
"One thing about [Senior Vice President of Football Operations/General Counsel] Eric Schaffer, he does a tremendous job of keeping in contact with all the guys that the coaches talk about," said Redskins Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams on Wednesday. "I mean, we've basically talked to all the free agents that are on our team at this particular time and had some kind of conversation, whether or not it's an offer or let them know what we think."
As the Redskins pursue potential new agreements, Williams said the team will be seeking to fill multiple holes instead of unloading money on one particular player or area.
"Big may not be better," Williams said in reference to a question about spending during free agency. "If you take the final four teams that was in the NFL playoffs this year, when you look at the three quarterbacks and [Tom] Brady, all of those guys got to the dance. …It was kind of like going to a NCAA Tournament and you've got North Carolina and three schools from the SWAC."
"At the end of the day, it's about the team and the people around you. I think we've got a pretty good team, so I don't know if we need to go out to spend big just to say we spend big."
Among the free agents that could soon hit the open market is inside linebacker Zach Brown, who signed a one-year deal with the Redskins last spring.
For most of the season, Brown – a 2016 Pro Bowler for the Buffalo Bills – led the NFL in total tackles before he was inactive for the final three games of the year.
In total, Brown finished the season with a team-high 127 tackles as he tallied eight games with at least 10 tackles.
Williams said the Redskins have offered a contract to Brown, now it's just a matter of the team coming to terms with the University of North Carolina product.
"We made Zach an offer a long time ago and we're just waiting on Zach more than anything," Williams said. "But we haven't heard anything, so it's basically up to them to start the negotiation part. When it comes to free agency, it is negotiations."
Another defensive starter that could hit the open market is cornerback Bashaud Breeland, who has appeared in 60 regular season games for the Redskins over the last four years.
A fourth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Breeland has recorded 270 tackles along with 60 passes defensed and eight interceptions in his career to date with Washington.
Williams said the Redskins have talked to him a "little bit," but discussions could increase as time goes on.
Ultimately, free agency will help mold the team's draft philosophy as the team gets more information on prospects this week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
"I think what free agency does, and we finished that meeting last week, [is it] gives us some opportunities to plug some holes and give us a little more relaxation during the draft," Williams said. "If we can pick up some people that we kind of identified in free agency, and we're able to sign some of those guys, I think it takes the pressure off the draft and puts you in a position to draft the best available player."