With less than a week to go until their July 15 deadline, "there isn't much optimism" that the Redskins and Brandon Scherff will be able to nail down a long-term contract, per an ESPN report.
If the two sides can't come together, then Scherff will play out the 2020 season on the franchise tag.
On the surface, there's obvious reasons for both the team and the player to commit to a multi-year agreement.
For the former, the reason is that Scherff is a very useful asset on the offensive line, making him a very useful asset for another very useful asset, Dwayne Haskins.
For the latter, the reason is that Washington is where Scherff wants to spend the rest of his career, which is according to Scherff himself.
If things keep tracking the way they appear to be going, though, then that one-year pact will kick in and some drama will follow after that.
Here are four factors that could be to blame, should that conclusion come to fruition.
A lack of familiarity
Thanks to the pandemic, Scherff and Ron Rivera haven't had a chance to really get to know each other as well as they normally would. That matters.
Rivera is clearly in control of the Burgundy and Gold now, meaning he has a very strong influence on how hard the organization is trying to lock up the 28-year-old. Perhaps there's some uncertainty on his end because he simply isn't that familiar with Scherff. The same could be said for Scherff, too.
The previous regime clearly valued Scherff from the day they selected him fifth overall in the draft. This new one, unfortunately, just hasn't had the opportunity yet to build up the same appreciation.
Uncertainty about 2020
This is another pandemic-related one, and it's something that could be particularly affecting Scherff.
While the NFL clearly plans to go full-speed ahead with its schedule, there's tons of skepticism that they'll actually be able to pull off a season. Just look at how much trouble the other leagues are having, then think about how football — with its large swath of large men and constant contact — may have the most difficult time of all.
Does now seem like the most solid ground for Scherff to sign on the dotted line? When it's still so unclear what 2020 will look like? Not exactly.
Factor No. 3 is one that surely is having some impact on the Redskins' viewpoint.
Scherff ended both 2018 and 2019 on injured reserve, due to a torn pec and then elbow and shoulder injuries, respectively. To take it a step further, he's missed 15 contests out of a possible 48 since 2017.
For the team to ink Scherff to a hefty contract, they're going to want to feel confident he'll be on the field to earn it. Right now, that confidence may not be there.
People seem to care about this green stuff, right?
While Scherff would no doubt find security in a potential multi-year deal with the Redskins, he may simply have more interest in just accepting the franchise tag, which will pay him $15 million in 2020. That's a huge number that could be dissuading him from negotiating much.
As for the team, because of things like the staff's newness and the concern for Scherff's health, they may rather see Scherff for an (albeit expensive) season before deciding whether they want him on the roster for the rest of the rebuild.
These back-and-forths are always complicated, but this time around, there seems to be more variables than usual. The NFL is known as a "deadline league," but the above factors could prove to be too much to overcome before the July 15 buzzer.
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