Washington Football Team to place franchise tag on Brandon Scherff

Oct 25, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team guard Brandon Scherff (75) prepares to block against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

This seems to have come out of left field. The Washington Football Team had used the dreaded franchise tag on star guard Brandon Scherff last March. The former first-round pick ended up making just north of $15 million while earning All-Pro honors.

But given the financial issues around the NFL due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it stood to reason that Washington would left Sherff test the free-agent market in 2021. That’s not going to happen.

According to JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington, the team has opted to once again place the tag on the four-time Pro Bowl guard. This is massive for a number of different reasons.

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Impact of Washington Football Team placing franchise tag on Brandon Scherff

Washington Football Team places franchise tag on Brandon Scherff
Oct 25, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team guard Brandon Scherff (75) prepares to block against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Given that this is the second consecutive year that Washington has made Scherff its franchise player, he will earn a whopping $18.04 million. All of that will count against Washington’s 2021 NFL salary cap. Financially speaking, this makes Scherff the highest-paid guard on a per-year basis by nearly $4 million.

For its part, Washington was $58.79 million under the cap before coming to this decision. It will impact the team’s ability to go after a quarterback to replace the recently-released Alex Smith.

Read More: NFL salary cap tracker: Where each team stands in 2021

Of course, Washington could come to terms with Brandon Scherff on a long-term extension ahead of the start of NFL free agency. There’s also a chance that new general manager Martin Mayhew opts to sign-and-trade Scherff. Other teams have thought about that thus far this offseason.

A top-five pick out of Iowa back in 2015, the 29-year-old Scherff was initially slated to play tackle. However, he seemed to be a better fit inside. After earning four Pro Bowl appearances in his first six NFL seasons, that became a reality.

It will be interesting to see what happens on this front moving forward. For now, Scherff is looking at earning a whopping $33-plus million over a two-year span at the guard position. That’s unprecedented.

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