Out of the players who were on the team in 2013 Orakpo is the biggest heading towards free agency. From what it sounds like it doesn’t sound like the Redskins are going to be willing to let Orapko just walk away. The team may look into working on a long term deal with the linebacker but it could be more likely he ends up with the franchise tag. My thought is please don’t get into a bad long term deal with Orakpo just yet. If a deal that works well comes about do it but don’t break the bank like the Redskins of old and regret it in 3 years. I think they have the room to use the franchise tag on Orakpo and still have money to make other improvements especially on the defense and in team overall depth.
The franchise tag also gives an outside shot that another team sees Orakpo as a much needed part and could make a trade offer. Twice this has happened with Redskins and it has worked both ways. Sean Gilbert gave the Skins two first rounders but then the Champ Bailey trade ended up being a horrible move for the franchise. Rak won’t yield the Gilbert gold but the Redskins should be willing to listen as he is potentially the best pass rush threat on the market. In the end, I think this is where it ends up.
2- Deangelo Hall
Easily the most debatable potential free agent the Redskins have. Based on what he did last year you have the say he is a must sign. Based on what he did the other years as a Redskin you would say let him roll. Last year was one of the few wins the Redskins organization had when it came to Hall. He played at a Pro Bowl level and at a low salary but now that has put them in a tough situation. Hall is only 30 but he has played a lot of games in this league. It sounds like the team is already working on a long term deal with Hall and that kind of scares me.
I would play it the opposite and actually like they did last off season. Let him see what he can get on the open market. I don’t think this is a devastating loss if Hall leaves for a better deal with another team. Last off season corners like Talib and Rodgers-Cromartie settled for one year deals also so why would the Redskins go crazy and jump the gun on a long term deal with Hall? Wait it out, see how the market plays and then make a decision, a reasonable decision. This isn’t Darrell Green we are talking about possibly leaving. My feeling is if you are concerned if the Redskins are going to be like the Redskins of old watch what happens with Hall. If they do sign him soon to a crazy figured contract I would have major concerns.
3- Perry Riley
Question is on Riley is could he be a long term solid part of a defense or just another guy? I feel like we had this situation a few years back with Rocky McIntosh. Shanahan did the right thing with Rocky when he was in this position and ended up signing him to a one year deal. McIntosh didn’t improve and he was gone and never was a true factor as a NFL linebacker. Question is what level is Riley at? Can you risk losing him at a spot that looks pretty bare at inside linebacker? Just like Hall and Orakpo I wouldn’t jump the gun still on Riley. I hate to sound like a broken record but let this one play out. If you lose Riley I am sure they can recover from it.
In the end, I would play it smart with Perry Riley. Unlike last season the Redskins have the money to offer him a one year situation to see what he does without Fletcher next to him and then deal with it next off-season. Riley isn’t a guy you can’t lose and there has to be inside backers on the market who they should look at first. That is the approach I would take.