Scherff stays put
Redskins place franchise tag on Pro Bowl guard
The 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 the Redskins 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 highestpaid guards had he hit the open market. He dealt with numerous injuries the last two seasons but has been a force for the Redskins 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 longterm contract.
The franchise tag for offensive linemen is expected to be worth upward of $15 million for the 2020 season.
Thomas stays with Ravens: The Ravens re-signed wide receiver and return specialist De’Anthony Thomas, giving the team at least one option to bring back kicks and punts in 2020.
Thomas joined the Ravens halfway through last season after the team released punt returner Cyrus Jones. Though he rarely played on offense, Thomas manned both return jobs for the Ravens through a playoff run, producing mixed results.
Thomas averaged 7.2 yards per punt return and 16.6 yards per kick return over eight regularseason games with the Ravens.
Thomas spent his first fiveand-a-half NFL seasons playing for the Chiefs. His role on offense diminished the past couple years, and the Chiefs released Thoams in October after he fumbled a punt return.
The Ravens haven’t relied on a consistent returner in recent years, shuffling between options. This move to sign Thomas five days before the start of the NFL’s operating year — and full-force free agency — gives the 27-yearold speedster a chance to lock down the for next season.
Other deals: Falcons FB Keith Smith agreed to a three-year contract extension. Smith, who started five games and led the team with eight special teams tackles in 2019, was set to become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday . ... The Lions resigned long snapper Don Muhlbach, who is second on the team’s career list with 244 games played . ... TE Jason Croom, who spent all of the 2019 season on the injured-reserve list, will return to the Bills for a fourth season.
Three-time Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff has started 65 games over his five-year career.