- The Washington Times - Monday, May 11, 2015

Scot McCloughan said Monday that the Washington Redskins are “very close” to signing their first-round draft pick, right tackle Brandon Scherff, to his rookie contract. McCloughan said such a deal could be finalized by the start of the team’s rookie minicamp, which begins Friday.

Scherff, a 6-foot-5, 319-pound lineman from Iowa, was taken by the Redskins with the No. 5 overall pick in the NFL draft on April 30. His four-year contract, which will include a team option for a fifth year, should be worth approximately $20 million with a $13 million signing bonus.

“With the new CBA, it’s all slotted,” said McCloughan, the Redskins‘ first-year general manager. “It’s totally different than it used to be.”

Eight of the Redskins‘ other nine draft picks have already signed their contracts, the team announced on Monday, while the ninth, Arkansas cornerback Tevin Mitchel, a sixth-rounder, has agreed to terms on his deal.

McCloughan, speaking at the Leukemia Golf Classic, hosted by outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, said getting the contracts out of the way — a task aided by the wage scale implemented in 2011 — allows all parties to focus on the sport.

“It’s very important, because they’re football players,” he said. “They’re worried about their livelihoods going forward, but also, they’re under contract. They come in, now they can do what they’ve always done — play football. For the organization, for the players themselves, it’s huge.”

After drafting 10 players, the Redskins signed 13 college free agents, including Florida’s Quinton Dunbar, a 6-foot-2, 201-pound wide receiver, on Monday afternoon. McCloughan said two anticipated deals fell through, and one, who he did not name, decided not to pursue a professional football career. That player informed McCloughan on Monday he intended to retire, leading to Dunbar’s signing.

Approximately four dozen players, including the draft picks and signees, will participate in this weekend’s camp. One of those players, McCloughan said, is former Alabama quarterback Blake Sims, who will try out for the team as a running back.

The biggest thing the general manager wants to see from the group? Competition.

“We’ve got a lot of guys in the draft, through college free agency and even tryout guys, and just seeing the guys out there competing,” McCloughan said. “It’s all about getting better every day. With the guys coming in here, I’m so excited about not just their talent on the field but how they’re wired. I want to see them step up and show who they are.”

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