RICHMOND – Linebacker Brian Orakpo would’ve preferred for the Redskins to have signed him to a long-term deal rather than play this season out on the one-year franchise player tag.
He maintained that desire throughout the offseason despite vowing that he wouldn’t become a distraction to his teammates, and despite signing his franchise tag tender worth $11.45 million rather than holding out for a more lucrative contract.
Orakpo has gone about his business here at training camp with his sights set squarely on the regular season opener in Houston on Sept. 7.
“I’m just focused on the Texans, man. That’s all I’m focused on,” Orakpo said when asked about the lack of a resolution to his long-term future.
Asked if he had wrestled with how to handle the situation, Orakpo declined to elaborate.
“I’m just focused on the Texans,” he reiterated.
Orakpo did say that in his mind, he does still have a chance to play football, and for now, that’s all that matters.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to play in the NFL and I’ve just been trying to, each year of my career, get better and better and be the best I can and get this defense to being a top-tier defense in this league,” Orakpo said.
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has adapted a more aggressive approach heading into this season, and Orakpo remains encouraged that because of it, he and his teammates have a chance to have a greater impact in 2014.
“We feel good. Little more of an attacking style, putting guys in position to make plays,” he said. “We’re kind of running plays to our strengths. That’s what the new difference is. Same coaching staff, same 3-4 defense, just a different philosophy.”