The franchise tag deadline has passed, and Washington Football Team offensive guard Brandon Scherff remains without a long-term deal.
The Washington Football Team made the decision to franchise tag Brandon Scherff for the second year in a row earlier this offseason. In March, they signed Scherff to a tag worth approximately $18 million.
The money was well-deserved, as Scherff was coming off a 2020 season in which he earned All-Pro honors. However, the logistics surrounding the second consecutive franchise tag brought about uncertainty. Scherff’s tag will only drive the value of his eventual long-term deal higher, and the Washington Football Team may not be keen on paying that price.
Nevertheless, there was a belief that Scherff would potentially be re-signed to a long-term deal before the franchise tag deadline on July 15. However, that deadline has passed, and Scherff is still without a deal. Scherff will now play the 2021 season on the franchise tag, and hit free agency in 2022.
Implications of Brandon Scherff’s contract situation
As the tag deadline now fades in the rear view mirror, the Washington Football Team’s decision to tag Scherff becomes more and more confusing.
Had the tag preceded a long-term extension, it would have made more sense. But now, the Washington Football Team will be on the hook for $18 million for Scherff in 2021, in a year where they likely won’t be Super Bowl contenders without a franchise quarterback. And in 2022, they’ll likely lose him for no more than an eventual third-round compensatory pick.
It makes sense why the team may have been apprehensive to re-sign Scherff, in spite of his stellar play. Scherff will turn 30 this coming December, and he does have a notable injury history. As he gets older, it’s not out of the question that his body won’t hold up as well, further detracting from his availability.
With Ereck Flowers, Wes Schweitzer, and Saahdiq Charles all available at guard, the Washington Football Team had the roster cushion to potentially move on from Scherff. But instead, they may have minimized their potential returns in this saga.
The Washington Football Team should have either re-signed Scherff long-term or sought out a trade, to earn more assets. Instead, they remained in the middle, losing both potential assets and future playing time from Scherff himself.
The cost to re-sign Scherff next offseason will be high, as Scherff is in position to reset the guard market. Before the deadline, there was a chance he’d move forward with the Washington Football Team. But now, a larger payday elsewhere might be in the cards in 2022.