The franchise tag window in the NFL officially opened on Thursday, and the Chiefs have already placed the label on defensive lineman Chris Jones. The deadline for clubs to follow suit comes in mid-March.
So, could the Redskins do the same with Brandon Scherff? That's a question the Redskins Talk podcast asked Ron Rivera directly on Thursday, when the head coach sat down for an interview.
"Well the plan is to continue to work with his agent and see what we can get worked out, more so than anything else," Rivera said. "But Brandon, most certainly, is somebody that we really believe is a big part of our offensive line and we'll see how things work out."
The first half of that answer is fairly general; trying to get things "worked out" is something teams and agents are doing all the time. However, Rivera labeling Scherff as a "big part" of the Redskins' O-line certainly appears to be a clue that, at the very least, they don't intend to let the multi-time Pro Bowler leave.
"I don't want to deal in what-ifs and all that kind of stuff, but again, I know [Redskins Senior VP of Football Administration] Rob Rogers will be working with [Scherff's] folks trying to get something worked out," the coach said.
Scherff's recent injury history, plus issues with penalties in 2019, appear to have caused some fans to shift how they look at him. The 28-year-old is still an absolute force, though, and while Rivera also has to figure out Ereck Flowers' future and consider how Wes Martin fits into this guard equation as well, keeping Scherff in Washington has to be a top priority.
In fact, outside of reaching a solution to the Trent Williams dilemma, retaining Scherff might be the top priority as things currently stand.
Therefore, expect both sides to continue their dialogue, and if the organization senses that more time may be needed, they could use the franchise tag on Scherff to keep him where he is. Then, they can try to finish up negotiations on a long-term agreement, or play him on the tag in 2020, which would be quite expensive but still better than losing him altogether.
The last time the Redskins were involved in a franchise tag conundrum, it was messy and felt endless. If they turn to it again, however, expect the new leadership to handle it in a more professional manner.
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