If the Washington Redskins haven’t made an “official offer” to linebacker Brian Orakpo, there’s a good reason for it.
They haven’t decided whether they want to keep him.
Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports that the team isn’t sure whether to make the financial commitment necessary to keep Orakpo around.
“I think there’s a lot of back and forth on it,” an unnamed source with knowledge of the team’s deliberations told Maske. “I don’t think it’s clear cut.”
Maske also explains that it’s a “really close call” on whether the Redskins will apply the franchise tag to Orakpo before Monday’s deadline. A decision to tag Orakpo could be followed by a Terrell Suggs-style fight over whether he’s really a defensive end, which has a 2014 tender amount of $13.116 million. The franchise tag for linebackers is $11.455 million.
The Redskins also could apply the transition tag to Orakpo, which would give them a right to match but not compensation if he leave. It would cost $9.754 million at linebacker, $10.633 million at defensive end. And if Orakpo signs the tender, the money will become fully guaranteed.
The Redskins have a history of spending bigger money on free agents from other teams than on their own players, a practice that can send a bad message to a locker room full of young players hoping to be rewarded financially for their efforts. It’s always better for those players to think they’ll get their reward without having to move to a new city.