Has Orakpo been allowed to rush the passer?
The Redskins decided to franchise tag Brian Orakpo on Monday and he seemed to be OK with it but he still wants some long-term security.
“I'm excited to continue to play football. I'm glad we've made the first step, but hopefully we can still get things done in the long run,” he told Josina Anderson of ESPN. “I don't have a problem with the decision (the Redskins) made, but I still want a long-term deal.”
Orakpo could push his case for a long-term contract with an old-fashioned holdout. Here is what Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported this morning on NFL AM:
“My understanding is that there were no real negotiations going on at the last minute. The two sides weren’t close. Instead, Brian Orakpo was hit with the franchise tag and from what I am told, do not expect him to sign it. He may stay away all spring.”
Orakpo has every right to do this and it is fairly common for franchise tagged players to withhold their services. He is not under contract and he would not be obligated to attend the team’s mandatory minicamp. Offseason workouts and OTA’s are voluntary even for players who are under contract.
Staying away is the only leverage that Orakpo has to push for a long-term deal. While he can sign the tender and continue to work with the team towards a long-term deal, the team has little incentive to do so.
The deadline for a franchise player and the team to come to a long-term agreement is July 15. That is less than two weeks away from the start of training camp. Most players will usually sign their tenders after that, report to camp, and start to work on their contracts for the next season.
We don’t know how this will unfold with Orakpo. Missing OTAs and minicamp is never good but with the team retaining defensive coordinator Jim Haslett the scheme will essentially remain the same so there won’t be a lot for him to learn.