Today is 2014’s deadline for players who received the franchise tag to work out multiyear contracts with their respective clubs, and it appears unlikely that the Redskins and linebacker Brian Orakpo will reach an agreement, according to Rich Tandler of CSNWashington.com. Orakpo will play the 2014 season on a one-year, $11.455MM deal if he doesn’t sign a longer-term pact by 3:00pm central time today.
Orakpo, who turns 28 later this month, was one of four players to be franchised back in March. Nick Folk and the Jets soon agreed to a multiyear extension, and Jimmy Graham and the Saints did so today. Unlike those players though, Orakpo and Greg Hardy accepted and signed their one-year franchise tenders several months ago, so it has seemed likely for some time that they’ll play on one-year deals in 2014.
Orakpo started 15 games for the Redskins last season, recording 60 tackles, 10 sacks, and returning an interception for a touchdown. The 27-year-old ranked fourth among 3-4 outside linebackers according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics (subscription required), recording positive grades not only as a pass rusher, but also against the run and as a coverage man.
Washington drafted Trent Murphy with their first pick in this year’s draft and already have Ryan Kerrigan at the other outside linebacker spot — given their depth at the position, the Redskins may want to see further improvement from Orakpo this season before committing to him on a lucrative long-term contract. John Keim of ESPN.com notes that there was a difference in opinions within the organization about whether or not to franchise Orakpo this offseason, but Keim expects the team to find a way to keep the pass rusher if he has a big year in 2014.