1. TAG! Brian Orakpo is it. At least part of the debate we have been having can be set aside. By using the non-exclusive tag, the Redskins maintain control over Orakpo for at least another month or so. As the team and the player continue to pursue a long-term deal, the tag gives Washington some additional options. They can match any offer made to Orakpo and are eligible to receive two first-round picks if he signs with another team.
2. You can't possibly say you are surprised when I ask: "Would you take two first-round draft picks for Brian Orakpo?"
3. Since my biggest problem with letting Orakpo walk was the lack of a "replacement plan," two first-round picks changes everything for me. One of those picks could realistically be used to find an outside linebacker, and the other could be used to find...any of the other needs a 3-13 team most assuredly has in spades. I don't think anyone should be holding their breath waiting for a franchise to offer up two first-rounders for Orakpo. Stranger things have happened, but I am not betting on that happening here. Then again...pass rushing linebackers that are 28 years old and have proven they can disrupt things behind the line of scrimmage don't grow on trees. Many outlets rate him as potentially the best available if he were to hit the market. Based on what Seattle did last season, it is not incredibly far-fetched to think a team would make a run at #98 if that team felt it was one pass rusher away from making a deep run. Since the Redskins have the ability to accept less in trade than two first-rounders, I fully expect some team to try and offer less.
4. This leads to the obvious question: "What would it take in trade for you to let Brian Orakpo switch jerseys?"
5. I have two thoughts here. On one hand, it depends on the team involved. Unless the offer is mind-blowing--I mean, like Herschel Walker-style--I am not even considering a trade to team in our division. Orakpo would make any of those three teams better, and there would be something soul-crushing about seeing him come to FedEx for any of them. On the other hand, two picks in the first two or three rounds goes a long way towards fixing this roster. It has to be multiple picks, period. And the highest pick has to be way up there. A high first and a high second would have me pretty darned interested.
6. No matter which way you slice it, the decision to place the non-exclusive tag on Orakpo is telling. The Redskins could have taken him off the market entirely. They did not. The Redskins could have locked him to a long-term deal at terms that were likely more salary cap friendly than the tag. They did not. Reports that there were differences of opinion inside the room at Redskins Park seem to be pretty believable, and reflect what has been taking place here for weeks. I love keeping our own players in the fold, but I have to tell you: I am more than a little bit excited to see if a team comes calling for Orakpo. Today's move was less about securing our linebacker position than it was about preserving the options that the Redskins have going forward. If anything, we are farther away from the certainty of Orakpo's return than we were yesterday. Yesterday, there was the possibility of a long-term deal, or an exclusive tag. Today, we march toward the beginning of free agency with the thought that trading Orakpo is a very real possibility.