5:20pm: Final deliberations are taking place at Redskins Park this weekend over whether to make a significant financial investment in Orakpo, report Mike Jones and Mark Maske of the Washington Post.
2:39pm: Our own Luke Adams passed along the story that Brian Orakpo had not received a formal contract offer from the Redskins yet, but noted that Orakpo would likely be franchised if a long term deal was not reached.
However, NFL Insider Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports disagrees with the notion that the Redskins would franchise their star pass rusher. In a series of Tweets, La Canfora says that he would be surprised of Orakpo did not hit the open market. He notes that Redskins’ general manager Bruce Allen is unlikely to devote that much cap space to one position, and does not believe the teams are close to agreeing on a long-term contract.
Earlier today, John Keim of ESPN.com looked at where Orakpo was ranked as a free agent, in order to gauge the interest he could draw on the open market. With consesnus top free agents Jimmy Graham and Greg Hardy already receiving the franchise tag, Keim notes that Orakpo would be the best free agent left according to NFL.com, and the number one linebacker available on Yahoo.com. CBS and Rotoworld both rank him among the top two or three free agents set to hit the market, and MMQB has a lower opinion of him, while still thinking he is one of the top ten free agents available if he hits the free agency.