The great debate rages on, should the Redskins re-sign Brian Orakpo, and what is the right price for the oft-injured outside linebacker? This was one of the biggest debates here and apparently within Redskins Park last offseason. Reports came out that the decision to franchise Orakpo last season divided Redskins brass, and the final decision came on March 3, the last day to apply the franchise tag to unrestricted free agents. Orakpo signed his franchise tag tender 3 weeks later, claiming that he didn't want to be a distaction to the team going into offseason workouts. There were initial reports that Orakpo's agents would try to argue for the higher franchise tag numbers for the DE position, but that fight never happened, and Orakpo had almost no chance at getting that designation. Orakpo's franchise tag salary for 2014 was $11,455,000. He expressed interest in getting a long-term deal done with the team after signing the tender, but the team took a cautious approach to committing to Orakpo based on his injury history, and that deal never happened.
The season started off badly for Orakpo when he injured his ankle in the preseason vs the Baltimore Ravens in the 3rd game. He sat out of practices until Week 1 vs the Texans. He also tore ligaments in a finger which required him to wear various wraps and splints during the season. Orakpo did not have the impact that the team wanted to see from him, only being credited with .5 sacks during the season. Orakpo's season ended on injured reserve for the third time in his career after his third pectoral injury. This confirmed the front office's fears about Orakpo's durability long-term, but will hat take him completely out of the Redskins plans this year?
ESPN's John Keim reported interest from the Redskins yesterday
The Redskins have expressed interest in Orakpo's return, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, but there is a long way to go in the process.
He also questioned the return with a new defensive staff in place:
While the previous defensive staff valued him, it's uncertain what the new defensive coaches think, but it's easy to see the Redskins going in a different direction. That's the feeling I've received from a few people around the league.
The Combine is a time to scout college prospects , but it is also one of the biggest gatherings of GMs, coaches, agents, and media of the year. Teams gauge interest on trades, put feelers out about needs, and talk to the agents of their impending free agents about new deals. Keim reports that the Redskins have expressed interest in bringing Orakpo back to his agent at the Combine. This is likely just one of many conversations to gauge what Orakpo is looking for. He will be 29 before the season starts, and while he has been productive when healthy, the injuries make it easy to argue against re-signing him. The Redskins haven't signed a 1st round selection to a second contract since 2000. Can the Redskins bring him back for a reasonable contract, or does he view himself higher than teams will?
FWIW: Was told the #Redskins met with Brian Orakpo's agent at the combine. Team expressed interest in his return. But: Long way to go.— John Keim (@john_keim) February 26, 2015
no idea yet how firm the interest would be in Orakpo's return. some People in NFL I've spoken to do not expect him back in Wash. we shall c— John Keim (@john_keim) February 26, 2015