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Orakpo tag puts a dent in Redskins’ cap space

Mar 3, 2014, 3:46 PM EDT


There are many advantages to the Redskins designating Brian Orakpo as their franchise player. At the top of the list, it gives them a very good player at the most important position on the defense.

However, the price for retaining Orakpo’s services takes pretty substantial bite out of the team’s salary cap room.

The franchise tag salary for a linebacker is $11.455 million and every bit of it gets charged to the 2014 salary cap. That leaves them with an estimated $18.6 million of salary cap space.

That’s not chump change by any means but it also isn’t a whole lot for a team that still needs to replace two starters at safety, two at inside linebacker and upgrade a number of other positions.

They do have the ability to create more cap space. They could release injured defensive linemen Adam Carriker and Stephen Bowen and save nearly $6 million against the cap. Other releases could create more cap room.

The Redskins could lower Orakpo’s cap number by agreeing to a long-term contract with him. A deal could be structured in such a way that even if it averaged near the franchise tag salary, the 2014 salary cap hit could be substantially lower.

  1. cowboyhater - Mar 3, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    At least it will be a short term deal. This will give the team an opportunity to negotiate a long term deal, or receive compensation if another team choses to sign him to a deal that the skins are not willing to match. If they would have just let him walk, then we get nothing and it would have left us with a huge hole on the defense. The 18 mil is still a good amount if we sign players to longer contracts that wont have that big of an impact in 2014, plus if Orakpo proves that he is not worth signing to a long term deal, it will free up that money next year. I like the deal….

    • gmu2000 - Mar 3, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      Why didn’t the skins use the transition tag???

      • Rich Tandler - Mar 3, 2014 at 4:53 PM

        Transition tag is dumb. Why pay ~$1.5 million more and be able to get compensation if you don’t match the deal.

        • gmu2000 - Mar 3, 2014 at 4:57 PM

          Didn’t realize there was no compensation at all

        • maxpower65 - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:26 AM

          Hi Rich,

          FYI, according to ( the transition tag value is listed as being $1.7M less than the franchise tag for linebackers.

          However, according to Wikipedia, there appear to be two types of franchise tag designations – exclusive and non-exclusive rights – and also a transition tag. The value for each type of designation (all three of them) are calculated differently (see Wikipedia details below).

          It seems that the transition tag is cheapest, with a right to match offers from the other team, but WITHOUT COMPENSATION if the player leaves; the non-exclusive franchise tag also seems to be cheaper, but WITH COMPENSATION if the player leaves; and, the exclusive franchise tag is the most expensive,however, the tagged player can’t negotiate with other teams.

          So I’m a little confused by your comment above and by the figures published by

          Should there be another set of values for the “non-exclusive” tag, which most players get tagged with? And has Orakpo been tagged as exclusive or non-exclusive?


          Note: Edited for brevity by R. T.

        • Rich Tandler - Mar 4, 2014 at 5:27 AM

          Brother, I don’t know if you have a question buried in there or not but I sure don’t need a bunch of stuff from Wikepedia dumped into there. I do this for a living, if you have question, ask, I have the information.

        • maxpower65 - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:39 AM


          My questions are in the last paragraph and immediately prefaced in the second last paragraph, namely:

          “…I’m a little confused by your comment above and by the figures published by

          Should there be another set of values for the “non-exclusive” tag, which most players get tagged with?

          …has Orakpo been tagged as exclusive or non-exclusive?”

        • maxpower65 - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:46 AM


          P.S. I included the extract from Wikipedia because it in effect detailed three separate tag types and how they are calculated, which is what initiated my questions.

        • Rich Tandler - Mar 4, 2014 at 10:11 AM

          That’s fine, just leave a link and don’t copy and paste the info in the future. Sorry to get cranky on you, I hadn’t had my morning coffee yet!

          > >

  2. internetcareer - Mar 3, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    Orakpo not going to sign the franchise tender? Ho Ho hee hee ha ha ha….hold stomach hurts from laughing. No no no Brian go ahead and refuse that 1.2 million dollars per sack. Don’t take that 11 MILLION DOLLARS. I hear they have an opening at Burger World for $7.58 per hour. Tell Snyder to go shove it and Brian I’m with ya buddy. You show’em….. Fill out that application to Burger World TODAY!

  3. darrynhyman - Mar 3, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    “very good player”…I don’t see it, but everyone has a right to their opinion. This was the problem that a lot of us have been saying for months. We have way too many holes to give one player who is above average, not very good, that much…even for one year. OLB is not the most important position on defense, DLine is always the most important whether you’re 4-3 or 3-4. You have a dominating d-line, average players at LB and in the secondary can be made to look better than they are. It is much harder to find a dominant NT than it is to find a pass rusher…you can’t name more than 6-7 dominant NT’s in the league if that many. We have put ourselves in a more challenging position building this team for the future…we are not competing for the SB this year, so we did not have the luxury of an 11.4 mil experiment this year in our rebuilding process

  4. kenlinkins - Mar 3, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    We signed Robinson, Worthington, Hall, Baker and now we Tag Orakpo. That is only 5 guys,(not counting the 8 futures contracts) what about Jackson, Doughty, Gumbs, Tapp, Briscoe, Kehi, Kimbrough, W Compton, Biggers, Wilson, Walton, Barnett and Riley? Have we made any offers to these guys or will all be able to test the Free Agent market. What do the 5 guys we signed have in common that the others don’t (Worthington to Orakpo is a big swing). Are none of these guys in the Redskins plans to the point of being signed by now and what does that tell us about the roster we are building? Last year we signed 18 undrafted free agents in a draft that was not anywhere as deep as this years. Seem to me the Redskins are going to take there time scouting and want to be sure everyone is on board before signing anyone. The days of Shanahan firing from the hip seem to be over, but I still do not understand what these 5 guys have in common! Next Up: March 11th and the doors open up of the NFL Free Agent Super Market.

  5. ajbus1 - Mar 3, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    This was the right thing to do. YOU DON’T LET YOUR BEST PLAYERS JUST WALK OUT THE DOOR! Letting him walk would’ve been idiotic. Now they can see what the market value is and if another team plops down a big offer the skins walk away with two first round picks. And how anyone doesn’t see his value to the team is crazy. Stop being obsessed with sacks. If there were stats for pressures, hurries, hits and holding calls maybe people would better understand what he’s worth to the defense. We are in a short rebuild and this wouldn’t be a case of addition by subtraction. I will bet they work out a cap friendly long term deal before the deadline (July 15th?).

    • Dee - Mar 3, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      Keep in mind it buys us another year of determining if his paper-mâché pectorals will last a 2nd consecutive season.

      • ajbus1 - Mar 3, 2014 at 10:32 PM

        Hahaha! That’s another good point!

  6. tralfaz10 - Mar 3, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    I believe Bruce Allen and Co. will come to a long term deal with Rak. Good Business for both sides. Team takes less of a hit against the cap and he gets his guaranteed money and the long term deal. We have money to fill the other voids. As far as injuries go, RG3 has blown his knee out twice. No one is suggesting we let him walk. Everyone calm down. All will be ok. September is a ways off. HTTR!

  7. timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 4, 2014 at 2:22 AM

    They Tagged him Now I think they are looking to Trade him. Hopefully we get something good for him or he signs a cap friendly long term deal. I’m not against him being on the team I’m only hoping he gets traded so that we have the cap money and Draft picks.

    On a side note My Son Was Just Born 3-3-14 at 5:30pm!!!!!

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 4, 2014 at 5:25 AM

      Hey, congrats, man! but they are not looking to trade Orakpo. They tagged him to keep him.

    • jonevans511 - Mar 4, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      Can your son block though? Congrats.

      • jonevans511 - Mar 4, 2014 at 3:43 PM

        And more importantly is he a good LOCKER ROOM GUY? Archives

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