Redskins use franchise tag on Brian Orakpo
The Redskins announced Monday that they have used the franchise tag on linebacker Brian Orakpo, the team's 2009 first-round pick, hours before the 4 p.m. deadline.
The one-year contract is worth $11.45 million for linebackers but $13.12 million for defensive ends. According to the Washington Post, Orakpo's camp could argue that he's entitled to defensive end franchise money because of the number of snaps he played at the position.
Either way, the franchise tag means that if another team attempts to sign Orakpo the Redskins would be entitled to possibly two first-round picks.
There's also the possibility that the Redskins will work out a long-term deal with Orakpo before the season, rendering the franchise tag moot. But CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora pointed out over the weekend that the neither side is close.
"The Redskins, who have many holes to fill, are not close to an extension with Orakpo and it would be surprising if they tagged him now," La Canfora wrote. "They could use that money on multiple positions. Plus, Orakpo's health and erratic production have given them pause in the past, and GM Bruce Allen is generally judicious with how he spends his money."
Orakpo, 27, made the Pro Bowl after playing in 15 games and racking up 10 sacks, 4 passes defended and an interception. But he missed all but two games in 2012 after suffering a pectoral injury.
At the NFL combine last month, new Redskins coach Jay Gruden seemed unconcerned about Orakpo's health issues.
"He's a top priority for us. We’d love to get Brian back," Gruden said. "Obviously, we have a lot of respect for what Brian has done as a Washington Redskin. We hope to get him back next year, no question.”
And now that Orakpo's back for at least one more season, Gruden can focus on rebuilding the rest of a defense that ranked 22nd in 2013, according to Football Outsiders.
For his career, Orakpo has started 64 (of a possible 80) regular season games, compiling 283 tackles, 39.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one pick-six. His 39.5 sacks rank fifth on the Redskins all-time sack list.
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