With many of the elite potential unrestricted free agents of 2014 being locked up to new deals or hit with the franchise tag as expected there are not many names that are likely to hit the open market. Something that doesn’t bode well for teams looking to add elite talent onto their teams that have the capspace to do so, like the Raiders.
However, there is one very talented veteran outside linebacker who could definitely fit the Raiders needs who may just may hit the open market as Brian Orakpo from the Washington R*dskins has yet to be given an official offer according to the Washington Post.
From the Post:
Discussions remain ongoing between the Washington Redskins and the representatives for outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, but the team has yet to extend their top pass-rusher an official offer, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
Monday is the deadline for teams to use the franchise tag designation on players. By using the franchise tag on Orakpo, the Redskins would have the right to match any other offer Orakpo received from other teams, or Washington would receive two first-round draft picks from that team as compensation for the linebacker. Orakpo would earn roughly $11 million on a one-year deal if he did remain with Washington on the franchise tag.
Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said last week that he had a meeting set up with Orakpo’s representatives in Indianapolis and that he expected them to present him with some figures. The two sides have continued discussions this week.
Two people with knowledge of the situation said that didn’t know how likely the Redskins were to use the franchise tag on Orakpo, or if Washington would be able to get a deal done before the start of free agency. Teams can begin negotiating with outside free agents on March 8 and then sign them on March 11.
Orakpo is Washington’s top free agent and is one of the mainstays of the franchise while also being one of their best defensive players currently at outside linebacker. If Washington is willing to let Orakpo hit the open market they run the risk of losing him to a team with the salary cap capacity to splash money on a talent with the reputation of being a consistent performer. As the franchise tag nears it will be interesting to see if Washington are truly willing to play hardball with Orakpo and let him test the open market. If Orakpo is willing to change teams and the franchise tag isn’t given to him he may be just one of the more interesting names in free agency.