For once in what seems like months, the latest news coming out of D.C. doesn’t involve Robert Griffin’s knee or a potential nickname switch for the city’s beloved NFL team.
A second-round pick by the Patriots back in 2009, the former Boston College star has failed to live up to expectations since entering the NFL four years ago. After seeing decent playing time in his first two seasons in New England, Brace quickly fell out of favor and saw his snaps decline significantly. The Patriots had seen enough by the end of the 2012 campaign, releasing the disappointing nose tackle on December 29. Happy New Year’s; you’re fired.
Throughout his four-year career, Brace has severely fallen short of the expectations that made him a second-round pick. He’s played in only 39 games (seven starts), racking up 39 total tackles and one forced fumble. For the last two years, he has failed to crack the nose tackle rotation in New England and will likely have the same issue in Washington.
The Redskins currently have Barry Cofield and Chris Nield as their No. 1 and No. 2 nose tackles. Nield missed all of last season with a torn ACL, which allowed Chris Baker to fill in as Cofield’s backup. Baker will be a free agent this offseason, though, and Nield will need time to work his way back to playing shape. Despite these positive signs, it’s going to be tough for Brace to earn a roster spot in D.C.
This is a low-risk signing for the Redskins, who are hoping that a new system could bring out the talent that Brace once displayed during his college days. If things don’t work out, they sever ties with the underwhelming nose tackle and move on. If this change of scenery does light a fire, though, the Redskins will get a pleasant surprise at a reasonable price.
Chances are Brace won’t even crack the 53-man roster, so don’t get your hopes too high.