Redskins general manager Bruce Allen isn’t the only team official who’d like to get linebacker Brian Orakpo signed to an extension.
New head coach Jay Gruden is also on that list. Gruden, in fact, called Orakpo the Redskins’ No. 1 priority this offseason.
“As a free agent, he’s the top priority for us,” Gruden told reporters at the NFL’s annual scouting combine in Indianapolis. “We’d love to get Brian back.”
“But,” Gruden added, “there’s a lot of issues at hand on our team. We’re evaluating every free agent that’s on our team, and that’s out there in the National Football League very hard, and we’ll make those decisions when they come up.”
On Friday, Allen said he expected to meet with Orakpo’s agent, CAA’s Ben Dogra, this weekend in Indy. Allen also said management has not yet determined whether or not to use the franchise tag on the 27-year-old pass rusher. If the Redskins chose to tag Orakpo, he would earn about $11 million in 2014. They have until March 3 to decide.
In 15 games last season, Orakpo recorded a career-best 60 tackles, 10 sacks, recovered two fumbles and took an interception back for a touchdown. He also earned his third trip to the Pro Bowl.
“Obviously, we have a lot of respect for Brian has done as a Washington Redskin we hope to get him back next year, no question,” Gruden said.