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Is tagging Orakpo a better move than a long-term deal?

Feb 17, 2014, 11:55 AM EST

Orakpo

Some notable websites are weighing in who teams might/should tag as their franchise players and two of them agree that the Redskins are likely to designate Brian Orakpo in that category.

Our corporate cousins at Pro Football Talk don’t think that the situation requires much thought.

If anyone gets tagged, it’ll be linebacker Brian Orakpo, who rebounded from a lost 2012 season with 10 sacks and a third career Pro Bowl berth.  If the team can’t sign him to a long-term deal, the tag should be a no-brainer.

On NFL.com, Gregg Rosenthal doesn’t put tagging Orakpo in the “no brainer” category but he believes that the Redskins will decide to do it.

After years of overpaying other teams’ free agents, it’d be crazy for the Redskins to let a rare homegrown product get away.

At this point in time, in fact, the franchise tag might work better for the Redskins than a long-term contract. He was healthy all of last year until he missed the season finale with a strained groin but there have to be some lingering health concerns after he suffered two torn pectoral muscles in span of about 10 months in 2012. Keeping him for one year to see if he is truly healthy guaranteeing him $20 million or more would be a wise fiscal move by the Redskins.

It would also be a good idea to make sure that he can be a consistently high performer. He had 11 sacks as a rookie in 2009 and then went for three years without recording double digit sacks (including his injury-shortened 2012 season). Although he hasn’t fallen flat in his “off” seasons, if he wants elite long-term money the Redskins should take advantage of this one-year window to see if he’s worth it.

While Orakpo almost surely would rather have the security of a long-term deal in his pocket, he might have to settle for a guaranteed $11 million this year and the possibility of the big deal down the road if he stays healthy and performs well.

  1. avalonharmon - Feb 17, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    the obvious other side of the spectrum is that brian orakpo in a scheme where he is allowed to blitz more has a monster 15-16 sack season and his price tag goes up even more than it is now. probably more than we can afford next year. then what? you just let go a pass rusher in his sacking prime with no legit replacement.

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 17, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      Tag him again; if he blows up he’ll be a bargain at around $13.2 million. After 2015 he’ll be approaching his age 30 season and both sides can take it from there.

    • internetcareer - Feb 17, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      the obvious side of him blowing it up with 15-16 sacks this season is PAST MISTAKES. If Orakpo actually gets great sack numbers for a change by rushing instead of being a cover corner…then it points out the idiot nature of he tRedskins organization. I mean…why draft a guy to rush the QB and then tell him to go downfield and cover pass receivers. This organization from top to bottom has been SCREWED UP and I am not in the mood to trust them and cut them any slack until they win a playoff game and stop acting like imbeciles.

  2. kenlinkins - Feb 17, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    The sad part is that our new head coach doesn’t get to see him work out before he has to chine in on weather Orakpo is worth $11 million for one year, $ 25 million for 4 year or to allow him to test the Free Agent market. From what I understand Jay Gruden can not even talk football with him until after the March 11th deadline to Tag him! Anyone want to start a OVER / UNDER pool on the number of hours Coach Gruden’s spends reviewing Orakpo tape before March 11th?

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 17, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      He does have five years worth of film (well, 4 years plus two games) to evaluate and the input of the defensive coordinator who has been there for four of those years to go with it. Although Allen has final say, Gruden should have plenty of data on which to form an opinion to support or oppose what Bruce does.

    • internetcareer - Feb 17, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      the new coach needs to see Orakpo WORK OUT? huh??? Let me get this straight. You believe that Gruden needs to see Rak do pushups and situps in order to determine if he is worth a certain amount of money??? REALLY??? yea..forget that game tape. forget stats…lets work him out?????

      • kenlinkins - Feb 17, 2014 at 11:56 PM

        So by your logic we should cancel the Combine as we have tape on everyone there? Beside, when you “Workout” a football player you are not having him do push ups, maybe I could have used the work practice,

  3. kenlinkins - Feb 17, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    OK, IMO you have made your point about tagging Orkapo, but I still want to see a clearing of the decks of these higher paid types (Chester, Montgomery, to name just 2) whenever it helps us the most. Other than Hall, Jackson and Riley, all of our other Free Agents will have to take a pay cut to play here. I want to see the Redskins sign 15 Undrafted Free Agents right after the draft. With so many JR’s pushing these guys out of the draft, there will be a ton of 5th,6th, 7th round type guys who will develop into starters, VG Back Ups and Special Teams stars that I want them here on our 90 man roster. I am looking for SPEED, Guys that can Tackle and Guys who can run And I wouldn’t want to be a Practice Squad guy right now. With 110 extra guys hitting the league at the same time, those jobs are going to be hard to get (another place we should be mining for players). This may be just the right time for a new coach, Cap money, a ton of talent hitting the market and not being married to pass mistakes. Maybe after just two drafts we will be ready in 2015 to make some noise. (can you tell I am in total rebuild mode).

    • alextwrs - Feb 17, 2014 at 5:34 PM

      Ooooo Kenny is fired up and I say the same…….. Let’s find some fresh talent.

    • internetcareer - Feb 17, 2014 at 6:17 PM

      I pretty much agree with everything in your extended post. The short story here is cut the guys who can’t block or tackle…keep the guys who can. Period.

      • darrynhyman - Feb 17, 2014 at 9:07 PM

        I’m staying with my same feeling on Rak…let him go. It doesn’t take 5 years for an elite pass rusher to show that he is elite. Now all of a sudden, it has been the scheme and he’s not rushing as much, blah blah blah….a lot of excuses. We didn’t hear about theses number of times he rushes in 2010 & 11 when he posted a whopping 17.5 sacks. Did he not ever rush in the 4th qtr or on 3rd down when has made minimal impact? Was he in coverage all game against the NFC East, where he has an astounding 5 sacks in his career? A lot of excuses gentlemen…Tandler can believe what he wants…his right and his blog, but paying this guy 11 mil for one year or 20 for 4, whatever, I believe will be a mistake and potentially handicap us even more

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