The Washington Redskins made a move to fortify their offensive line and to help protect Donovan McNabb this weekend when they acquired offensive tackle Jamaal Brown from the New Orleans Saints in exchange for some draft picks.
Brown, who was a restricted free agent, was dealt to the Redskins for a somewhat complicated array of picks that involves a draft choice that will eventually be owned by the Eagles. If you remember, as part of the McNabb trade, the Eagles will receive either a third- or fourth-round pick from the Redskins in the 2011 draft. If (a) McNabb makes the Pro Bowl (b) the Redskins win nine games or (c) the Redskins make the playoffs, the Eagles will get the third rounder. If none of those conditions are met, they'll get sent a fourth-round choice. Whichever of those two picks is not sent to the Eagles will go to the Saints as part of the Brown trade, and the Saints also will receive a 2012 sixth-round pick. The Redskins will get a yet-to-be-determined late round choice in 2011.
As for the impact on the field for the Redskins, Brown has the potential to make quite a difference for an offensive line that was considered the weak point of the team last season. After drafting Oklahoma tackle Trent Williams with the fifth overall pick in this spring's draft, new head coach Mike Shanahan has bookended Williams with Brown, another former Sooner drafted in the first round. A two-time Pro Bowler, Brown, 6-6, 313, is expected to step in at right tackle, where former Eagle Artis Hicks was the first-teamer this spring. Hicks will now likely slide back to guard.
Brown was on the trade market after missing all of the 2009 season with a hip injury and sports hernia. After Brown went down, his replacement Jermon Bushrod helped the offensive line allow the fourth-fewest sacks in the league (20). As a result Brown was not guaranteed his spot as a starter, and he showed his displeasure with that, as well as with his tender offer, by not attending the Saints' voluntary workouts.
If healthy, Brown will no doubt help the Redskins with their objective of giving McNabb time to find the open receiver. Last season, behind an older and battered line, the Redskins allowed a sack every 8.63 percent of their pass attempts, 28th in the league. The off-season makeover up front is surely a positive for McNabb, who will appreciate as much time in the pocket as possible while acclimating himself to a new offense. It's also good news for the triumvirate of running backs currently on the Redskins roster, Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker.
As for the effect of the move on the Eagles, Brown will likely be matched up against Juqua Parker and Brandon Graham when the two teams meet on October 3 in Philadelphia and November 15 in Washington. Even with their improved defensive line, the Eagles will be hard-pressed to replicate their performance against the Redskins last season when they sacked the quarterback seven total times in the two meetings, five of those coming from defensive ends.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 3:18 p.m., June 21