Redskins put franchise tag on guard Brandon Scherff

NFL
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ASHBURN, Va. (AP)The Washington Redskins placed the franchise tag on three-time Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff on Saturday to keep him in the fold next season.

Scherff and Washington had been in talks on a long-term deal. Instead, the Redskins ensured their 2015 first-round pick would not reach free agency.

The 28-year-old could have been among the NFL’s highest-paid guards had he hit the open market. He dealt with numerous injuries the past two seasons but has been a force for Washington when healthy.

Scherff was named to his third Pro Bowl in 2019 after starting 11 games. He has started all 65 games he has played in since turning pro out of Iowa and being drafted fifth overall by the Redskins five years ago.

The Redskins used the regular, not the exclusive, franchise tag on Scherff, meaning he can still talk to other teams. They’d have the right to match another offer or receive two first-round picks as compensation. They also have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term contract.

The franchise tag for offensive linemen is expected to be worth upward of $15 million for the 2020 season. With coach Ron Rivera now in charge, Washington released cornerback Josh Norman and receiver Paul Richardson to clear salary-cap space and had more than $60 million in room to spend.

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