NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday on NFL NOW that the Redskins opened negotiations with Scherff but haven’t made much headway yet.
“From what I understand about Brandon Scherff is that the Redskins have had some contact with him, some negotiations on a potential big-time long-term extension,” Rapoport said. “But they really have not gotten very much off the ground despite the Redskins offering him a contract worth more than $13 million per year, which would put him about at the top of the guard market. Those conversations are going to continue but don’t be surprised if Brandon Scherff goes toward free agency and becomes the highest-paid guard in the NFL going forward next offseason.”
The No. 5 overall pick in 2015, Scherff is earning $12.525 million on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal. The Cowboys‘ Zack Martin currently sits as the top paid guard, earning $14 million per season, and got $40 million guaranteed. Second on the list is Jaguars left guard Andrew Norwell, who signed a $13.3 million per year deal with $30 million in guarantees after hitting the open market in 2018.
There have been whispers this offseason that the Redskins and the young guard weren’t close on negotiations. Rapoport’s report indicates Scherff might prefer to see what free agency could hold, if Washington doesn’t use the franchise tag this offseason.
Scherff holding out for more than around $13 million per year makes sense at this stage. If the Redskins utilizes the franchise tag, he would earn 120 percent more than his $12.525 million in 2019, which is a shade over $15 million (more than the offensive lineman tag last year — $14.07 million). If Norwell got a massive deal on the open market, the Redskins guard, who is a better player, surely knows someone will open up the pocketbook for a two-time Pro Bowler.
Scherff missed eight games in 2018, going on injured reserve in November after a pectoral injury. He’s bounced back well playing solidly through two games, reaffirming his place among the upper echelon of guards.
The Redskins would be wise to extend Scherff as soon as possible if they can close the gap in negotiations.