The Washington Football Team is going to place the franchise tag on Brandon Scherff once again, as NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay reported on Monday night.
The organization later confirmed Finlay's report.
Scherff also played under the designation in 2020 and earned roughly $15 million. If he ends up on the field in Week 1 with it still applied, he'll be in line to make about $18 million, since it'll be his second-straight tag and that comes with a 20-percent raise.
Looking ahead, Washington can negotiate with the lineman on a more permanent contract until July, but if the two sides can’t reach a compromise at that point, then they can’t talk until after the season.
The news comes as a disappointment, considering how valuable Scherff is to the offensive line and considering how much he’s expressed a desire to stay with the organization that drafted him back in 2015. He’s the type of contributor that Washington needs more of.
Plus, it's not a stretch to conclude that this harms Washington's chances of keeping him for an extended period. Think about it from his perspective: He can earn a massive amount of money this year, and then, he'll once more be slated to hit free agency 12 months from now, when the salary cap should return to normal.
The positive of this is that, as long as nothing unforeseen like a trade occurs, Scherff will return and give Washington serious continuity up front; besides him, the other four main blockers from the 2020 NFC East-winning campaign will also be back.
That said, ensuring his short-term future continues in Washington may just damage the possibility of his long-term future being in Burgundy and Gold. The countdown to July begins now.