The Washington Post

Bruce Allen: Redskins haven’t decided if they’ll use franchise tag on Brian Orakpo

Brian Orakpo recorded 10 sacks this season. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

INDIANAPOLIS –Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said that he and team officials haven’t decided on whether they will use the franchise tag to retain outside linebacker Brian Orakpo if they can’t reach a long-term deal by the start of free agency.

Orakpo, the team’s top pass-rusher, will become an unrestricted free agent next month. He has expressed a desire to return to the team that selected him 13th overall in 2009. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said last month that re-signing the three-time Pro Bowl linebacker ranks among the team’s priorities.

By using the franchise tag on Orakpo, the Redskins would ensure that they retain his services. But doing so would also mean they would have to pay him around $10.9 million, depending on what franchise tag figure the league settles on for the outside linebacker position.

Allen said that he will meet with Orakpo’s agent, Ben Dogra, while in Indianapolis at the NFL Scouting Combine.

“I’m going to have some more conversations with his representative here, and we’ll see where it goes,” Allen said. “We really haven’t gotten into those types of specifics yet. Really. His agent is supposed to have some ideas on what he would like to propose to us today or tomorrow.”

Allen did reiterate the team’s desire to re-sign Orakpo but also pointed out that the Redskins have many needs to fill, with 21 players up for free agency.

“We like Brian. There’s no doubt we like Brian, as well as a number of other players,” Allen said. “If we were just one player short, that’d be an easy question. But we have several players that we’re looking to fill.”

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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