What Should the Redskins do With Brian Orakpo?
The Washington Redskins will be faced with several decisions this offseason. The team has 15 players who will be free agents soon, and they must decide who stays and who goes.
At the top of the “to-do” list will be deciding the fate of soon-to-be free agent outside linebacker Brian Orakpo. Several factors have to be looked at to make a correct decision on Orakpo. First things first, his health is the obvious first question mark as he has suffered three pectoral muscle tears since the 2011 season. That in itself is enough to make anyone a bit cautious when it comes to giving a long-term, big money deal to a player who will be 29 when the 2015 season starts. Add in the fact that the Redskins had to use the franchise tag on Orakpo in 2014 and the situation becomes even more cloudy.
One major negative point about Orakpo is that he is a bit hard-headed and refuses to try to learn new moves that would make him a better pass rusher. Just last season he bristled at the mere thought that he needed to learn anything saying, “I’ve proven my ability on the field, and I don’t need to add anything to my game.”
It’s my thoughts that Orakpo is ultimately in the wrong defensive scheme, as he should be a defensive end in a 4-3. Which is what most teams will target him to play if he does, in fact, leave Washington this year.
There is no denying that WHEN healthy, Orakpo is excellent against the run and does a solid job of closing off his side in pass rush situations, often sending the play the other way. Problem is he hardly registers sacks, even though he does get pressure on the QB, and likely falls into the below mediocre category in coverage situations. He’s just not worth the type of money he’s looking for, and even if he were willing to take less next season in a “prove it” type of contract, the Redskins might not be the best situation for Orakpo either.
It may be time for a clean break between the two, even though it pains me to type that sentence. At one time Orakpo was the face of the future for the Redskins, and most thought he would do great things in DC. Now question marks surround him, and his future in the burgundy and gold is in serious doubt as the team is positioned to perhaps add his replacement with the number 5 pick in this year’s draft. A quick glance at what players make now as a rookie will show you that it’s a lot more appealing to draft someone then take a chance on a player with injury issues like Orakpo’s.
The only way I could see Orakpo returning to the Redskins in 2015 (I give it about a 10 percent chance) is if management believes he can stay healthy and productive on the field…at a lowered cost