As Brandon Scherff enters free agency this offseason, it seems like a no-brainer that the Washington Football Team will work to bring him back.
The veteran guard is coming off of a First-Team All-Pro season in which he was instrumental in helping Washington return to the playoffs. Additionally, Scherff has stated that he wants to remain in the Burgundy and Gold and see the transformation of the franchise through. So even though his next contract will be pricey, it's worth it to lock him up and secure the offensive line, right?
Former NFL offensive lineman Ross Tucker isn't so sure that is the case. Speaking on 106.7 The Fan's "BMitch & Finlay" he explained that the price may not be worth the reward.
“When I see guards getting like $16 million per year projected, I mean I think he’s a really good player. I sometimes wonder if a guard…if a guard really provides that much value," Tucker said. "Especially one that who’s been in and out of the lineup as much as Brandon has.”
His viewpoint of what a guard means to an NFL team doesn't come from an outside perspective, as Tucker played the majority of his five-year career at the position. He understands it's important to an offensive line, but in terms of financial compensation, he doesn't see Scherff's projected salary as equal to how he values the position.
As Tucker explained, that partially has to do with Scherff's injury history. Despite his success over the years, the guard has not played a full season for Washington since 2016. The wear and tear on Scherff and his inability to stay on the field at times has Tucker worried that a large contract could come back to bite Washington.
Tucker's opinion also stems from what he's seen around the league in terms of how deals with guards have turned out. He noted that New York Giants guard Kevin Zeitler, who signed a three-year contract with an average salary of around $10.6 million in 2019 and Andrew Norwell's $13.3 million average per year cost have both recently come up as potential cap shedding moves.
Those teams once believed those somewhat pricey contracts were worth it, but just a few years down the line it's a commitment that the organizations are unsure they can continue on with.
Seeing that, Tucker doesn't want Washington to fall into a similar situation. He has no problem with Scherff making the money the current market allows, he's just not confident it is an investment that will pay off down the line.
“We all know O-Line is really important, D-Line is really important. They’re good at D-Line, you don’t want to let guys like Brandon Scherff go. But I feel like most of the teams that pay top of the market for these guards, a year or two later they’re like ‘are we really getting our money’s worth there?’" Tucker said.