2. Brandon Scherff, OG
Brandon Scherff solidified his spot as one of the best guards in the NFL during his seven-year stint with the Washington Commanders. A first-round pick in the 2015 draft, Scherff racked up five Pro Bowl designations, along with a First-Team All-Pro designation, in that span. That's why, it didn't seem unreasonable for the Jaguars to give him a three-year deal worth $49.5 million in free agency.
At the time, the Jags needed to fortify the trenches and ensure Trevor Lawrence had the best possible protection up front, something he lacked in his rookie season. By signing Scherff, the team's brass checked off one offseason need. The only concern was that the former Iowa Hawkeye hadn't played a full season since 2016, his sophomore campaign, so there were concerns about his potential availability ahead of the 2022 season.
Scherff put all doubts to rest when he started all 17 games in 2022. The issue is that he dealt with an abdomen injury for most of the season. With an offseason to recover though, the hope was that the veteran guard was going to return to Pro Bowl shape in 2023. However, that hasn't been the case. Granted, he's played better than last season but his salary doesn't match his on-field production.
Right now, Scheff is on pace to give up three fewer sacks and seven fewer pressures than last year. His run blocking has also improved but several guards are currently playing much better than him, and aren't charging nearly as much. Make no mistake, Scherff's leadership has been invaluable but paying a premium for his services because he's a veteran presence doesn't make financial sense.
Asking Scherff for a pay cut doesn't seem like an unreasonable thing to ask, but if he refuses, the Jaguars could release him, and create $9.09 million in space with $14.86 million in dead money.