Brian Orakpo itching to return to game action for Skins
There has been some talk in the news about Brian Orakpo’s contract situation lately. Dan Graziano of ESPN paid a visit to Redskins Park and he made the following observation:
For whatever it's worth, a week ago I believed the Redskins were likely to try to extend Orakpo this offseason, but after spending a couple of days at their minicamp last week and talking to people there, I now believe they intend to let him play out the deal and negotiate next offseason.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com referred to Graziono’s post and had this to say:
Coach Mike Shanahan must have some concern about Orakpo's ability to stay healthy because there's little doubt he's a difference-making pass rusher. The Redskins also know they can use the franchise tag next offseason if necessary, and we know they rarely lose out on a free-agent bidding war.
Good points by both. But they both miss the more important reason that there is unlikely to be an Orakpo extension before 2014. There is no real incentive for Orakpo to sign a deal based on what he would be worth right now.
Teams will pay good money for good pass rushers and huge money to great ones. Orakpo’s value right now is in the “good” range, which means that if he gets somewhere between, say, 8-10 sacks he will be able to get somewhere around $8 million per year, perhaps slightly more. That’s what the Brown paid Paul Kruger, who was coming off of a nine-sack season and had six career sacks coming into 2012, this offseason.
But if Orakpo goes off and has a great season with 15-18 sacks, something that the team and, more importantly, Orakpo think could happen, he could then get a contract approaching the $13 million per year that Clay Matthews got earlier this offseason.
The organization isn’t going to pay Orakpo like Matthews unless he plays like Matthews. Orakpo believes that he can play like that and it appears that he is willing to prove it and then ask the Redskins to show him the money.
The good thing here is that there is no acrimony between the player and the team and none is likely to develop. Orakpo is saying all the right things about wanting to be a Redskin for life. Chances are he will be but he won’t sign the deal that guarantees that until sometime next spring.