Last week, ESPN's John Keim reported that the Redskins had met with Brian Orakpo's agent at this year's NFL Scouting Combine to discuss a new contract. Yesterday was the deadline for NFL teams to place the franchise or transition tag on players who are entering free agency next week. The Redskins chose to not use the tag on Orakpo after tagging him last season. They are reportedly still discussing a new deal according to NBC Washington's Dianna Russini.
I'm told no tag for Brian Orakpo but sources say both sides are working on a new deal before free agency. #Redskins— Dianna Marie Russini (@NBCdianna) March 2, 2015
If the Redskins are interested in bringing Orakpo back for a 7th season with the team, they could have competition as he's set to hit free agency. Russini first reported there was interest in Orakpo from other teams. He would have received heavy interest from the Atlanta Falcons last offseason if the Redskins didn't place the franchise tag on him.
While Brian Orakpo and the Redskins are trying to work out a deal, other teams I've spoken to are showing significant interest. #Redskins— Dianna Marie Russini (@NBCdianna) March 2, 2015
Mike Florio from Pro Football Talk is also reporting that other teams will have interest in signing Orakpo when free agency starts next Tuesday. He mentions at least four teams are in the mix, including the Redskins and the Falcons. Atlanta's defense has been a mess the last few years, and they have been signing players to try to fix their pass rush. Many people are projecting them to take a pass rusher with their first pick this year, and they might want to try to sign Orakpo if the deal is right. Former Redskins DBs coach Raheem Morris is now the Falcons Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Passing Game Coordinator, and is familiar with Orakpo from his 3 years in Washington.
Per a league source, at least four teams are interested in Orakpo. For now, the leaders are believed to be Washington and the Falcons.
Whichever team signs Orakpo is going to have to take his injury history and low sack total(.5 sacks) from last season into account. He entered the season injured and dealt with various injuries until his season ended with his third pectoral injury in Week 7 vs the Tennessee Titans. Orakpo made $11.455 million last year with the franchise tag, but will be lucky to see half of that next year. If the reported interest is legitimate, he could get a short-term deal or have to sign a 1 year prove it deal with incentives. Will Brian Orakpo be the first Redskins 1st round pick since Chris Samuels and LaVar Arrington to receive a 2nd, long-term deal, or has he played his last game in the Burgundy and Gold?
[UPDATE #1: 8:35 AM 3/3/15] Falcons have heavy interest and new deal with Redskins "not looking good'
Redskins and Brian Orakpo had been working on a long term contract extension, told "it's not looking good" Falcons are very interested.— Dianna Marie Russini (@NBCdianna) March 3, 2015
[UPDATE #2: 8:45 AM 3/3/15] Add the Jacksonville Jaguars to the list of teams reportedly interested in Orakpo
Per league sources, The Jacksonville Jaguars are very interested in Brian Orakpo. #Jags— Dianna Marie Russini (@NBCdianna) March 3, 2015
[UPDATE #3: 5:45 pm 3/3/15] Our friends at the District have learned the Redskins are offering a 2 year deal to Orakpo
Also from today: according to sources close to the situation, the Redskins are only offering OLB Brian Orakpo a 2-yr deal.— TheDistrict (@DistrictStrong) March 3, 2015
[UPDATE #4: 10:00 am 3/6/15] Sources with Redskins say Orakpo won't be back with Redskins
As Brian Orakpo is on TV showing tons of respect for Redskins fans, sources with team say "he will not be back" #Redskins— Dianna Marie Russini (@NBCdianna) March 6, 2015
[UPDATE #5: 11:00 am 3/6/15] He also mentioned on NFL AM that he wouldn't mind playing for the Dallas Cowboys
The pass rusher wouldn't rule out Redskins rival, the Dallas Cowboys. "I wouldn't mind it, I wouldn't mind it," he said of switching allegiances. "I mean, I know it's been a big rivalry for years, but I'm a Texas boy man, so I wouldn't mind it."