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Need to Know: Five ripple effects of the Orakpo tag

Mar 5, 2014, 4:43 AM EST

Orakpo-Kerrigan-line

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 5, six days before the start of NFL free agency.

Nickel coverage

Nothing happens in a vacuum in the salary-capped environment of the NFL. Here are five ripple effects from the decision to tag Brian Orakpo:

1. Ryan Kerrigan safe for now—As noted yesterday, Kerrigan prefers to play on the left side and with Orakpo on the team he will be able to stay there. But also, Orakpo being on the tag rather than on a long-term contract means that there is a chance for Kerrigan to stay past the 2015 season.

2. Michael Bennett and other edge rushers on the market will get paid—Six franchise and transition tags were handed out in the NFL this year and half of them went to edge rushers. In addition to Orakpo, Carolina’s Greg Hardy (franchise tag) and the Steelers’ Jason Worilds (transition) were taken off the market. That development is good for the likes of the Seahawks’ Bennett and the Bengals’ Michael Johnson as the lowering of supply in the market will increase demand for their services and, therefore, increase the dollars in their contracts.

3. More cap casualties—This already has been bad news for Sav Rocca and it will be for some other marginal veterans on the roster. Anyone with a cap number over the minimum could be in danger of being released to create more cap room.

4. Younger and cheaper—And on the other side of the coin, the $11.5 million in cap space that Orakpo occupies could prevent the Redskins from brining back free agent veterans like Reed Doughty and Darryl Tapp. Again, younger and cheaper players will be signed instead.

5. Heat is on HaslettI wrote a post about this yesterday but it bears repeating. There simply will be no excuse for the defense not to be solid with the unit’s best player on the field.

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Timeline

—It’s been 66 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 186 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Free agency starts 6; Offseason workouts start 33; NFL Draft 64

In case you missed it

  1. scirishhoss - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    I know the defense needs a ton of work, but wouldn’t signing a one of Albert, Oher, Saffold, or Monroe for the Right tackle position be a huge boost to the offense? I also feel we need to nab one of the slot receivers who also help in the return game such as Edleman, Tate, Cribbs, Ford, Ginn, or Hester. While they might not be true #2 types they would be a nice weapon over the middle along with Jordan Reed. Also help out pathetic return game. Do you think we could afford one of each RT and WR while still having enough cap to address the defense some? I really feel like we have the offensive ability to get back to 2012 form and outscore alot of teams when firing on all cylinders.

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:12 AM

      Oher is awful, Stafford is being considered a guard. Albert way too costly. Per Kiper and Mayock there will be players who can immediately start at right tackle available at least into the third and maybe the fourth rounds. Get the RT there and take care of the position at a cap number under half a million per year for the next four years.

      > >

      • scirishhoss - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:16 AM

        Sounds good. The defense is horrible but I think number 1 need is doing everything possible to help Robert succeed. I think we both agree everything can’t be fixed in one offseason but another 2013 repeat offensively is would be extremely tough to face going forward. Gotta get back to 2012 form!

  2. kenlinkins - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    On number 3 and 4 (signing younger cheaper guys) are you saying as back ups for depth (like Doughty and Tapp) or as starters to replace Fletcher, Merriweather or some of the starters we assume will be cut on the O-Line and WR? Do you think GM Allen and coach Gruden are unhappy with the talent levels seen on film to the point they are going to gut the roster and rebuilt OR try and build a better Starting line up only and back up with younger / cheaper guys?

  3. alextwrs - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    I think investing heavily in the revival of talent in the interior of the offensive line through FA will provide depth. Like Rich said, find a starting RT in the draft, probably in the 2 or 3rd round. This will improve our defense as we can get back to the clock management style of game the offense played in 2012. Its amazing how well a defense does when they are not on the field and can rest and when they have decent field position to respond to.

  4. alextwrs - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    Investing in offensive line is investing in our defense in a way.

  5. colmac69 - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Always go on bout right tackle but this past season lots of pressure came through the interior line….offense moved the ball relatively well this yr but scoring tds in redzone along with turnovers in scoring positions was biggest diff from this yr to last yr…..better defense will help as well…kapernick and wilson struggled at times but they have strong defenses to bail them out…by all means draft rt but I would prefer to draft wr with our first pick

  6. scirishhoss - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    Wideouts usually take longer than most positions to transition and make a impact in the NFL. With our 2nd rounder we need to take someone who has a higher floor who can help right away.

  7. scirishhoss - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Target the wideout in round 3, the draft is deep at WR, will still likely get good value.

  8. rg3skinsgetsome - Mar 5, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    Forget the offense you can build that next year, there is way to many holes on defense. .seahawks won based off defense and dominated one of the best offenses to every play the game…gruden has already said this is a top 5 rushing offense and rg3 also was holding on to the ball for to long and missing wide open wr.. i don’t see alot of changes as far as offense of line unless Compton, gettis or lerib step up. We need more meat up front and a red bryant or linval joesph, cam Thomas would help..Byrd is to much money and kerrigan rg3 and alfred all need to be sign for long term deals, I like Malcolm Jenkins.. If Sam shields test the free agent market I would love to get him.. draft Christian jones 34th pick at inside lb and draft stanley jean baptise in 3rd round.. robinson is a great coverage lb as long as he can stay healthy and jones is the best coverage lb coming out of college. .If your not sure about robinson then go pick up new England’s lb can’t remember name but good run stuffer not so much in coverage…Merriweather may have to come back on 1 year deal to develop Thomas …If we can fill those holes the redskins will be in a much better spot on defense.

  9. skinsfanfromvt - Mar 5, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    Younger and cheaper could prove to be a positive ripple effect. While these free agent pass rushers getting big money, would surely hurt our efforts to sign Orakpo long term. The sooner they get a deal done….the better.

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