The Washington Football Team can keep Brandon Scherff from the open market with a second franchise tag. However, the team remains focused on ironing out a long-term extension with the standout offensive guard, according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post.
The franchise tag window runs from Tuesday through March 9. Washington, in theory, could tag Scherff and take the negotiations from there — the franchise tag extension period would give them roughly four months to work with, before the July 15 deadline. That second tag would come at a 20% increase from his previous one, making it an $18.04MM salary for 2021.
The NFL’s collective bargaining agreement still lumps guards, tackles, and centers into the same offensive lineman bucket, which effectively means that the tag pays Scherff as an elite tackle. Typically, the tag increases leverage for the team. In Scherff’s case, it gives him solid ground to stand on.
Washington does have the cap flexibility to re-up Scherff for one year, but they’d much rather lock him down through his prime years with a smoother cap hit from year to year. A brand new deal could reset the market for interior linemen, giving him $15MM+ per year to trump Brandon Brooks‘ $14.1MM average annual value.
“I’ve always said I want to stay where I got drafted,” the Pro Bowler said recently. “And I’ve been here for six years, and I absolutely love it here. … We are building something here to absolutely make a run for it in the future.”
Scherff, who just turned 29 in December, has started in all 78 of his games for Washington.
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