Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo’s return to action after last year’s torn pectoral muscle is a significant one for both player and team.
For the Redskins, adding the pass rushing skills of a healthy Orakpo to a defense that seemed to find a groove down the stretch last season holds the promise for even better results in 2013. For Orakpo, it is a chance to make a strong impression ahead of the expiration of the contract he signed with the team after they made him a first-round pick in 2009.
Orakpo said Monday that he and the team have yet to have any conversations about a new contract, which suggests that the Redskins would like to see Orakpo at full health following his second torn pectoral in the last three years before thinking about anything beyond next season. Orakpo made it clear that he has no interest in playing anywhere else, however, and he said that owner Dan Snyder and coach Mike Shanahan have each given him the impression that the Redskins also want the relationship to continue.
“I would love to be a Redskin for life,” Orakpo said, via Rich Campbell of the Washington Times. “That’s my goal. Obviously, when I talked to Mr. Snyder, he said that’s his goal. Coach Shanahan said that’s his goal. As long as both sides take care of our business, it shouldn’t be a problem.”
Orakpo says he’s 100 percent healthy, which would make it in his best interests to hold off on any serious negotiations until he gets back on the field and shows he can play at the same level he was at before the second pectoral tear. While that might wind up costing the Redskins a bit more than if they struck a deal right now, it would be worth spending a little more if Orakpo’s presence ensures increased pressure on the quarterback.