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Brandon Scherff: 'I want to be a Redskin for the rest of my career'

Brandon Scherff: 'I want to be a Redskin for the rest of my career'

In his five years in the NFL, Redskins guard Brandon Scherff has established himself as one of the best interior offensive linemen in the league. 

A two-time Pro Bowler, Scherff is in the final year of his rookie contract with the Redskins and set to be a free agent this offseason. Although Scherff's current contract only guarantees him the rest of the season in a Burgundy and Gold uniform, there's only one team No. 75 wants to play for.

"But I want to stay here," Scherff told NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay in an exclusive interview. "I want to be a Redskin for the rest of my career."

While the guard sounds committed to the Redskins, the team has to commit to him. The two sides had spoken about a potential extension this past summer, but there was no happy medium between them.

Earlier this season, a report came out that the Redskins offered Scherff an extension worth an average of $13 million per season, which would make him the second-highest-paid guard behind Dallas' Zach Martin.

But Scherff told NBC Sports Washington that he's in no rush to sign a contract extension right now.

"No, no updates. I think I’m going to wait until the end of the season to talk," Scherff said on a possible extension. "I’m not really focused on that right now. It’s going to be a big part of our life in the offseason."

If the Redskins don't come to an agreement with their Pro Bowl guard, they can also place the franchise tag on him.

The Redskins used the franchise tag following both 2015 and 2016 seasons on quarterback Kirk Cousins, while both sides tried to finalize a long-term deal. Neither side could come to an agreement, and Cousins signed a three-year, $84 million contract with the Vikings in 2018. 

Scherff and Cousins are good friends, and both of their wives are close to one another. The guard said he was "excited" to see Cousins when the Redskins play the Vikings on Thursday.

Scherff could be faced with a similar situation that Cousins was in a few years ago. But he insists he hasn't talked to Cousins about what it's like to be franchise tagged.

"No, I don’t like to talk about that with anybody," Scherff said. "Contracts are contracts and you kind of just leave it at that."

Right now, Scherff is saying all the right things. He's committed to the organization. He's taking it one day and game at a time. He wants to be here for the rest of his career. He's one of the best young offensive linemen in the game.

Now, it's up to the Redskins to invest their future in him.

"Like I said, I want to be a Redskin for the rest of my career," Scherff reiterated to Finlay. "We’ll figure it out when the season is over."

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Three key takeaways from Kendall Fuller's (second) first media session as a Redskin

Three key takeaways from Kendall Fuller's (second) first media session as a Redskin

Guys like Thomas Davis, Sean Davis and JD McKissic have all gone through their first sessions with the local media this week now that they're officially Redskins. Kendall Fuller had his, too, but because he's coming back to Washington after two years in Kansas City, it was really his second first session with the beat reporters.

So, here are three takeaways from the corner's call on Wednesday, which was a very useful way to catch up with him:

1) He doesn't know yet what his role will be — and that's perfectly fine with him

Fuller was at his best in the slot with the Redskins, but he moved around with the Chiefs, taking snaps on the outside as well as at safety in addition to the action he saw inside. He's essentially as versatile as a tuxedo T-shirt, giving Washington options in terms of what they'll do with him.

As of now, he's still not exactly sure where Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio will ultimately employ him. Regardless, he anticipates making an impact no matter where lines up.

"I'm just excited to show my talent, knowing that I can play anywhere on the field," he told reporters. 

Fuller is clearly the team's highest-profile acquisition of the offseason so far, and his versatility is part of why he was such a priority for the Burgundy and Gold to bring in. Add that quality next to his age — he just recently turned 25 — and it's easy to envision him having those chances to show that talent for quite some time.

2) He, too, is well aware of what the Redskins are building up front

Thomas Davis explained in his time with the media on Tuesday how the likes of Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Ryan Kerrigan, Matt Ioannidis and others made joining the Redskins an enticing thought. A day later, Fuller echoed that thought.

"When you're a DB and you're looking at the front seven, you know how important that is for you and your success," Fuller said.

Of course, the franchise went 3-13 with that same crew just a year ago, but the hope is that they'll fare far better with a scheme switch and improved coaching (and, also, the possible arrival of Chase Young). Fuller believes he stands to greatly benefit from their presence. 

3) Being back home is a giant bonus for him

The Maryland native and former Virginia Tech Hokie identified Ron Rivera's reputation and the group mentioned above as things that convinced him to return to the organization that drafted him. But being back in the area factored into his free agent decision, too, as it's a place he's obviously comfortable in.

In doing so, he let slip that he used to forbid his mom from attending afternoon games to ensure she was at home preparing dinner for him. It sounds like that rule is about to be reinstalled. 

"I had to let her know that she's going to have to start doing that again," he said.

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Three takeaways from Sean Davis' first media session as a Redskin

Three takeaways from Sean Davis' first media session as a Redskin

Like many of the Redskins new free agent signings, safety Sean Davis held an introductory phone call with local media on Wednesday, as any normal press conference will unlikely be happening in the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On the call, Davis answered questions about his role with the Redskins will be, what the free agency process was like, and his excitement to be with the Burgundy and Gold, among other topics.

Here are three major takeaways from his conference call.

1. He's completely healthy.

During the first three seasons of his career, Davis was very durable. The safety missed just one game between 2016-2018 while starting in 40 of them.

But during the Steelers Week 1 loss to the New England Patriots, Davis suffered a shoulder injury, one that cost him the rest of his 2019 season. 

Davis was asked very early on during the conference call how his shoulder is currently feeling, and the safety's answer should please many Redskins fans.

"My shoulder’s good," Davis said. "I passed my physical, so I’m feeling strong, feeling great and I’m ready to get back on the football field. My shoulder is doing good."

It's worth wondering if the Steelers would have tried to Davis, should he had been healthy during the final season of his rookie deal. The Redskins jumped on Davis in free agency, signing him to a one-year contract, essentially a prove-it deal for the safety just hours after the new league year began. Should the 26-year-old have a bounce-back season and stay healthy in 2020, he'll set himself up for a nice payday next year.

2. Davis models his game after the late Sean Taylor.

It was a little ironic that Davis was introduced to the local media on April 1, the same day Sean Taylor was born 37 years ago. Davis, who grew up a Redskins fan in Prince George's County, said Taylor had -- and still has -- a major influence on his game.

"He was probably the biggest influence on my football game," Davis said of Taylor. "I’ve been wearing 21 since high school. I had to wear 28 for Pittsburgh my first two years, but once 21 opened up it was a no-brainer I had to jump on it. He was just an awesome player, a huge role model."

Davis won't sport No. 21 in Washington, as that number has been off-limits since Taylor's tragic death in 2007. While the newest Redskins safety will have to choose another number (No. 28 has also not been worn by any Redskins player since Darrell Green), Davis hopes he can have an impact on the field in a way Taylor once did.

"He was just a beast, he was the best and I’ve tried to emulate my game after him," Davis said. "He instilled fear in the receivers, he was doing everything imaginable, so he was really a freak athlete and I just try to do what I’m supposed to do, but also unleash the inner beast in me and play like Sean Taylor. That’s my goal every week I’m out there, play like Sean."

3. Davis has played multiple positions and sees his versatility as a strength.

Davis, like many of the Redskins free agent signings this offseason, has experience playing multiple positions. In Pittsburgh, Davis played both safety positions -- each for a full season as a starter -- and played a little cornerback, too.

"I have played a lot of positions. I just like being on the field, honestly," Davis said. "I feel like I can play any position you really want me to. As long as I’m on the field, I feel like I’m going to make an impact on defense."

The Redskins expect Davis to play free safety, as Landon Collins will play the strong safety role lining up closer to the line of scrimmage. However, Davis and Collins both have experience playing all over the field, allowing the Burgundy and Gold to get creative with their looks next season.

"I’m just looking forward to being the deep guy, being the one that everyone has to depend on," Davis said on playing free safety.

Since Davis moved from strong safety to free safety in 2018, one aspect of his game he's really focused on is making open-field tackles. He'll likely have plenty of opportunities to make those with the Redskins next season.

"Being the last line of defense, open-field tackling – it’s one of the hardest things in football and it’s one thing that I pride myself on," he said. "Each year, I’ve missed less tackles. I’m just looking forward to improving my game each and every year and the best is yet to come."

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