When Washington finally made a first-round draft pick, three years after the failed trade up for RGIII, the team landed a quality player in guard Brandon Scherff. Scherff is now entering the last year of his contract, and it could be his last year in D.C.
Erin Hawksworth of 106.7 the Fan recently reported that Washington has made multiple offers to Scherff, and that “the two sides are far apart.”
Scherff will make $12.5 million in 2019 under his fifth-year option. Given the 20-percent rule, his franchise tender would be, at a minimum, $15 million in 2020.
A pectoral injury ended his fourth season in Week Nine, but he’s regarded as a very good player, and he’s critical to the team’s underrated offensive line. But Washington has a habit of not spending money on home-grown players, opting instead to throw cash at veterans who have no prior ties to the franchise. And that’s always a bad message to send to a locker room full of young players who need to believe that, if they do everything that’s asked of them, they’ll get their financial reward without having to relocate.
Scherff could be the next, especially since it could be very difficult to justify paying $15 million or more to an interior offensive lineman. Whether one year or multi-year, that’s the ballpark in which Washington will have to be willing to reside; otherwise, Scherff can make at least $15 million in 2020 (if tagged), at least $18 million in 2021 (if tagged twice), and then hit the market (Kirk Cousins-style) with $16.5 million per year over two years in his pocket — a higher annual average than the highest-paid left tackles in the league.