Scherff now has one foot out the door as tag deadline passes


The deadline for NFL teams to place a franchise tag on one of their pending free agents passed at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, and the Commanders chose not to do so with Brandon Scherff or any other players.

As explained a few weeks ago, there was no reason for Washington to apply the tag to Scherff, because it would've increased his salary to an even larger number than the $18 million mark it reached in 2021 and, while he's a hell of a guard, he's not worth that much money.

As for the rest of the team's free-agents-to-be, no one is valuable enough for Ron Rivera to keep via the tag.

So, essentially, waiting for the deadline to come and go, at least for those concerned with the Commanders, was about as dramatic as an oil change.

Having said that, the non-event should still be recognized because it puts Scherff that much closer to finding a new employer.

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Without the tag, which Scherff played under the past two seasons, the five-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro will officially hit the open market for the first time in his pro football life. And though he has his faults — most notably a lack of durability, with his last full campaign coming in 2016 — he also has his top-tier talent.

Therefore, there will be heated competition for his services.

It's true that Scherff has publicly reiterated a desire to remain with the organization that once drafted him, and general manager Martin Mayhew's recent apology to Scherff's camp for negotiating through the media could be interpreted as Mayhew trying to get back in Scherff's good graces.

But please, don't mistake either of those developments as anything more than posturing. They certainly aren't serious signs that Scherff is about to ink a new long-term contract with the Commanders. 

Scherff only made those pro-Washington remarks because, well, what else can he say? As for Mayhew, his backtracking was likely more about showing the rest of the league that his sideswipe of Scherff was an aberration and not typically how he does business. 

When the NFL's legal tampering period begins on March 14 and free agency truly commences two days later, offensive line-needy squads will be in contact with Scherff early and often. Tuesday represented the day when Scherff's life with the franchise tag halted, and next week represents the stretch where he'll choose where to run and pass block next.

Overall, Scherff's career with Washington was littered with various accolades — and that chapter of his career is about to meet its expiration.