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Two-week window for NFL teams to use franchise player tags begins today

Brian Orakpo would be an unrestricted free agent March 11 unless the Redskins re-sign him before then or use the franchise player tag on him (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

The two-week period in which NFL teams can use their franchise player tags on players begins Monday. The deadline to apply the franchise tag is March 3.

The Washington Redskins’ top candidate for the franchise player tag appears to be linebacker Brian Orakpo.

Using the tag on Orakpo would cost the Redskins approximately $10.9 million for a one-year contract but would limit Orakpo’s mobility on the free agent market. The Redskins would have the right to retain Orakpo by matching any offer by another team, or to receive two first-round draft choices from Orakpo’s new club if they allow him to depart.

The Redskins alternatively could use the exclusive franchise tag, at a higher price, to take Orakpo off the free agent market altogether.

Unless the Redskins use the franchise tag on Orakpo, who had 10 sacks last season and has 39-1/2 sacks in his five NFL seasons, he would be eligible for unrestricted free agency March 11.

It is not clear if the Redskins plan to use the franchise tag on Orakpo if they’re unable to re-sign him before the March 3 deadline.