Brandon Scherff has been one of the best guards in the NFL each and every season since he was draft 5th overall by Washington in 2015. In 2020, while also playing on the franchise tag, Sherff put together arguably his best season yet and finished with a PFF rating of 84.1. His fully guaranteed amount under the first-time franchise tag was a shade over $15M. As per the new CBA, there is a multiplier effect on using the tag continuously on the same player. Even though COVID restricted the projected cap expansion and actually led to a contraction, the tag amount in 2021 for Scherff has increased to just over $18M fully guaranteed.
This makes Scherff the highest paid guard in the NFL in 2021, based on an average per year basis. For comparison, Joe Thuney and his new contract with the Chiefs is in second with an average of $16M per season. In terms of cap impacts, Thuney accounts for just $4.5M this season and does not jump past $18M until 2023. By tagging him, Washington is missing out on the positive cap implications of getting a long-term deal done now.Embed from Getty Images
Make no mistake, the next Brandon Scherff contract will make him the highest paid guard in the NFL. Washington will either be the team locking him up to that new contract, he will be allowed to leave during free agency, or he’ll be traded at a diminished value at some point this season.
Brandon Scherff contract comparison vs. Joe Thuney
Scherff is now 30 years old compared to Thuney’s 29. Thuney’s PFF the past three seasons starting 2018 have been and 75.7, 77.4, and 74.2.
Scherff on the other hand posted scores of 72.5, 75.4, and 84.1 last season.
The Chiefs gave Thuney a five year, $80M contract this offseason, with almost $32M guaranteed.
Washington is just delaying the inevitable, without getting any of the positive benefits of getting a deal done. It doesn’t send a good message to the locker room when a guy drafted by the team and played at a consistently high level ends up being strung along on multiple franchise tags. This is especially the case with an organization trying to show that they are no longer to run incompetently, as they have been for years.
A team with horrible news on the front office operations front after the recent investigation into the personal conduct and treatment of female employees and a team who’s very name has become a controversy, should be looking to set a new tone. If it’s the same old nonsense under Dan Snyder, with just apologies regarding conduct and a new name and logo, they’ll continue to dwell at the bottom of the NFC. If they’re serious about being a winning organization, one in which players actually want to be a part of, then they need to start acting like it. Not rewarding your own players, even though they’re clearly top in the league at their position, is just more of the same in Washington.
We recently broke down some of the best moves Ron Rivera has made since taking over as head coach in Washington; however, this looks like it will be an uncharacteristic poor decision by Riverboat Ron and Co.