Friday, June 29, 2018

A big payday awaits Redskins guard Brandon Scherff

Brandon Scherff could be in line for a big payday thanks to a rival’s recent contract. (Doug Kapustin/Associated Press)

By Kareem Copeland
June 28, 2018

Washington Redskins guard Brandon Scherff had to be wearing a massive smile when Zack Martin signed an extension earlier this month.

The Dallas Cowboys guard landed a six-year, $84 million deal, with $40 million guaranteed, to become the highest-paid player at the position in the NFL, additional proof of the increasing value teams are placing on guards. The importance of the quarterback and the NFL’s continued development as a passing league have funneled more money to those who protect the franchise player, but offensive tackles are no longer the only ones landing hefty contracts.

Scherff can patiently await his own lucrative deal. He has a great case for cashing in.

As he enters his fourth NFL season, Scherff already is a two-time Pro Bowl selection, and Pro Football Focus ranked him ninth among the league’s guards last season. Martin ranked first; Andrew Norwell, who signed a five-year, $66.5 million contract (including $30 million guaranteed) with the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency, was fourth. Norwell is the second-highest-paid guard in the league.

Scherff is still on his rookie deal and will make $705,000 in base salary in 2018, according to salary website He’ll take home more than $6 million from signing and roster bonuses.

Scherff’s salary rises to $12.525 million in 2019 if the team exercises his fifth-year option, but the Redskins would like to secure his services for the long term. The team doesn’t want to go into the final year with the 2015 draft’s fifth pick on the edge of unrestricted free agency. Preserving salary cap space for Scherff is likely a reason Washington took a conservative approach to free agency this offseason.

When tackles Trent Williams and Morgan Moses are healthy, the Redskins have one of the better offensive lines in the NFL, and they need it to protect the $94 million investment they just made in quarterback Alex Smith. There’s also new hope for a previously floundering running game with the addition of running back Derrius Guice and the development of Chris Thompson.

Scherff is off to a strong start to his NFL career, and offensive line coach Bill Callahan said the 26-year-old is still getting better.

“His work ethic is off the charts,” Callahan said. “He’s a guy that continually challenges you as a coach and every day wants to get better, wants to know specifically what he needs to work on to improve. We go over that list continually.

“He’s a guy that you just love to coach because you tell him one time and he gets it and he’s got it. You can do a lot of different things with him because he has that type of versatility and that type of adaptability as well.”

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