Report: Redskins intent on extending Brian Orakpo

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After he missed almost all of the 2012 season with a torn pectoral, just getting linebacker Brian Orakpo back on the field would seem to be a big win for the Redskins.

According to a report from Mark Maske of the Washington Post, however, the Redskins have set their sights beyond the 2013 season with Orakpo. Maske reports that that the team is “intent” on reaching agreement on a contract extension with Orakpo “well before” his contract expires at the end of the year.

Despite that reported desire, it is reportedly unclear whether or not there are any current talks about a contract underway. Orakpo said in May that he wants to remain with the Redskins beyond this season, although he’s also said that making a full and successful return to the field after last year’s injury is a bigger priority to him in the short term than reaching a deal with the Redskins.

That’s a sensible approach for both sides to take. Orakpo’s value is lower coming off a year lost to injury than it would be if his return to the field finds him playing at the level that’s brought him 29.5 sacks over the course of his career to date, which explains both the Redskins’ interest in getting something done sooner rather than later and Orakpo’s focus on making the best possible case for an even bigger deal.