WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Linebacker Brian Orakpo has signed his one-year franchise tender to officially remain with the Washington Redskins.
Orakpo, 27, will be paid the $11.45 million the outside linebacker franchise tender commands, as opposed to being paid as a defensive lineman.
The Redskins announced they’d apply the franchise tag to Orakpo in early March, to which Orakpo — who had been looking forward to experiencing free agency for the first time in his 5-year career — said at the time, “It is what it is.”
The two sides had until July 15 to work out a deal, and after an internal debate, the team decided to pay Orakpo outside linebacker money, per ESPN’s John Keim.
“Pass-rushers don’t grow on trees, and at the time we weren’t sure what pass-rushers would be available,” said Gruden, who was hired in January to replace the fired Mike Shanahan. “There was still a chance for Seattle to franchise [Michael] Bennett. So we thought it was very important to take care of one of our own who we groomed and coached up, and we’re happy with Brian.”
Orakpo had 10 sacks last season and has 39½ in five years since the Redskins drafted him No. 13 overall in 2009. He has twice torn the pectoral muscle near his left shoulder, leading to questions about his durability.
The Redskins still have the option of working out a long-term deal with Orakpo.