Here is what you need to know on this Friday, June 1, 11 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.
Note: I am vacationing in the Outer Banks this week. In this space, I’ll be presenting some of the most popular posts of the last few months. I hope you enjoy these “best of” presentations and I’ll see you folks when I get back.
Norwell raises the OL salary bar, Scherff will benefit
This post was originally published on March 29. Since then the Redskins have activated the fifth-year option on Scherff's contract, which will pay him $12.5 million in 2019.
The numbers for free agent guard Andrew Norwell’s new contract with the Jaguars are eye-popping. And the deal certainly will get the attention of the Redskins’ Brandon Scherff.
The first reports of Norwell’s deal say that the contract he intends to sign in Jacksonville is for five years and $66.5 million with $30 million fully guaranteed. While these are preliminary numbers, the average annual value of $13.3 million per year makes him the NFL’s highest-paid offensive lineman. That’s right, highest-paid including tackles, who traditionally make more money. Norwell will be just ahead of tackles Russell Okung of the Chargers and Washington’s Trent Williams.
Norwell’s distinction as the highest paid O-lineman may not last long. Left tackle Nate Solder of the Patriots will likely surpass him in AAV when he signs at some point this week.
In any case, Scherff will benefit from the rising tide that Norwell helped create. He is going into the final year of his rookie contract and he will make about $4 million in salary and roster bonus this year. The Redskins will almost certainly activate his fifth-year option for 2019, which will carry a salary of around $13 million.
That $13 million number and Norwell’s deal will come into play when the Redskins start negotiating an extension with his agent. Other factors also will be considered. The Norwell comp may not work in Scherff’s favor as the former Panther was a first-team All-Pro last year, an honor that Scherff has not yet earned. The Redskins 2015 first-round pick has made two Pro Bowls.
All of that is good for the negotiators to hash out. The bottom line is that Scherff will get a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of Norwell’s. He probably won’t get as much as the Cowboys’ Zach Martin, but he will be one of the top four or five highest paid guards in the league.
The Redskins are well aware that the price will do nothing but go up. Scherff is eligible for an extension now since he has completed three years of his rookie contract. There have been no reports of them starting any talks and perhaps they will wait until after this season. But after Norwell’s deal and the pending monster contract for Martin, waiting may be an expensive proposition for the Redskins.