When the Washington Redskins re-signed right tackle Jammal Brown in July to a five-year deal worth $20.25 million, the hope was that two years removed from hip surgery, he would regain the form that made him a Pro Bowl player in 2006 and 2008 with the New Orleans Saints.
But it quickly became apparent that Brown still hadn’t fully recovered, and he remained hobbled for a second consecutive season. Now the seven-year veteran’s future hinges on a strong offseason and his ability to return to 100 percent, Coach Mike Shanahan says.
Brown missed the 2009 season while recovering from the surgery, and Washington acquired him in the summer of 2010 with one year remaining on his deal. Brown played in 15 games that season, but was hampered by the surgically-repaired hip.
Because of the NFL lockout, Brown couldn’t further rehabilitate the hip with the Redskins’ medical staff. But the team still re-signed him with the anticipation that a second offseason of rest had helped the 6-foot-6, 313-pound tackle further heal.
Brown reported for training camp with the belief that his hip was much better. But he still wasn’t as effective as he and the Redskins hoped as he continued to play through pain. The bad hip and a reoccurring groin injury limited him to only 12 games.
Despite his new contract, Brown has a murky future. Only this past season’s $2.75 million base salary was guaranteed, and to carry him on the 2012 roster would mean a $4.6 million salary cap hit. (The Redskins would suffer a cap hit of $4.4 million if they cut Brown before June 1, but if they cut him after that date, the cap hit for 2012 would be only $1.1 million, and $3.3 million of it would be deferred to 2013).
Most players coming off of serious injury and requiring rehabilitation still receive that treatment at Redskins Park during the offseason. (The rest of the players are expected to report around the middle of April for the beginning of offseason practices). Shanahan sat down with Brown on Monday and informed him that he would like the player to do so as well to give Brown the best chance to finally achieve a full recovery.
“Jammal is a guy that is very talented. I think we know what he’s done. He has been hampered with injuries,” Shanahan said. “His future will be determined on how he heals up in the offseason. He’s going to be here all offseason. I’ve talked to him, had a good conversation with him. He knows he’s got to get in great shape because he knows he can play at a very high level if he’s feeling good.
“That hip was by no means close to 100 percent this year. So he’s going to be here throughout the offseason getting in the best shape that he can possibly get in to give himself the best opportunity to start next year. If not, he understands that it’s a short career if you can’t stay healthy.”
Understanding what’s at stake, Brown had no problem remaining in the area, and he believes that he is fully capable of working his way back into top form.
“Yeah, this whole offseason is important. I need to get some rest, and then get back on it,” Brown said. “It’ll really help, this being my first offseason with this team, having this structure and whatnot. If I can get healthy, I can be a Pro Bowl player again.”
More from Post Sports: