Washington Redskins LB Brian Orakpo believes that it is “his time” to receive a long-term deal from the team, but he has no intention of holding out for a new contract.
“I deserve it. We’ll see what happens,” Orakpo said after practice Wednesday, via Jason Reid of the Washington Post. When asked if negotiations have begun, Orakpo said “you’ve got to ask Bruce,” referring to Redskins GM Bruce Allen.
Orakpo was slapped with the franchise tag this offseason, meaning he will receive $11.455 million for the 2014 season, a number that he is clearly not satisfied with.
“But nothing in my DNA wants to do that. I love my teammates. I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity.”
Orakpo has registered 39.5 sacks in 64 career games with the Redskins, and has accordingly earned some leverage of his own. Commonly, a player of his caliber will hold out of team activities, but Orakpo has already ruled out that tactic.
For comparison, Green Bay’s Clay Matthews and Kansas City’s Tamba Hali are the two highest paid outside linebackers in the NFL, with $13.2 million per year for Matthews’ contract and $11.5 million for Hali, according to OverTheCap.com.
Orakpo’s franchise tag is in line with highest annual salaries, but obviously doesn’t offer the security and guarantees of a long-term agreement.
Washington somewhat surprisingly used their second-round pick on OLB Trent Murphy, so there is at least a chance that they could view him as a long-term replacement, even if he may not be on the same level as Orakpo in terms of talent.
Should Orakpo actually be able to test the open market in 2015, he could very well come close to Matthews contract, especially with another productive season under his belt.
ProFootballFocus graded Orakpo as the No. 4 outside linebacker in a 3-4 system last year.