At some point in the next several months it is likely that Brian Orakpo will sign his franchise tag tender. Given that he and the Redskins were not close to an agreement on a long-term contract prior to the team using the tag, the chances are that he plays out the 2014 for the $11.455 million franchise tag salary and becomes a free agent again in 2015.
If he has a season similar to the one he had last year—15 games played, 10 sacks, 40 QB pressure, an interception and a touchdown—the Redskins and Orakpo will be right back to where they are now, with a serious disagreement over what he’s worth on a long-term contract. If he has a better year with maybe 15 sacks and several forced turnovers, there still is likely to be some distance between Orakpo and the Redskins when it comes to a long-term deal. Orakpo will be entering his age 29 season and the team will be reluctant to hand Orakpo a five-year deal with over $20 million in guaranteed money.
The solution could well be a second year with the franchise tag for Orakpo. A second tag calls for a salary of either that year’s franchise tag amount or 120 percent of the what the player made the previous, whichever is higher. Since the tag salary is unlikely to jump 20 percent a second tag for Orakpo would probably mean the latter calculation would be used. That would mean a salary of about $13.7 million.
That’s a lot but it actually would be a slightly higher percentage of the 2015 cap, which is expected to be at least $140 million.
That would make Orakpo part of a very interesting 2016 offseason. There would be some huge decisions to make. Orakpo would be a free agent. So would Ryan Kerrigan, assuming that the Redskins exercise their 2015 option on his contract. Alfred Morris’ rookie contract will be up as will Trent Williams’. Robert Griffin III will be going into his contract option year and he will carry a cap charge in the neighborhood of $15 million.
We’ll have more details of that scenario in the coming days and, unless a lot changes, the coming two years.
The Giants shipped out Jason Pierre-Paul for life as a Buccaneer, and in turn, Tampa will send a third and fourth round draft pick to New York.
Moving Pierre-Paul comes at a curious time for the Giants. The team will eat $15 million of dead money in the move, and New York also sent a fourth-round pick to Tampa as part of the transaction.
What it definitely signals is that Big Blue looks to be moving from a 4-3 base defense to a 3-4 look. Additionally, with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft in April, maybe the Giants will seriously look at NC State defensive lineman Bradley Chubb.
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For the Redskins, seeing Pierre-Paul leave the NFC East is welcome news. He has 12.5 career sacks against Washington QBs, the same amount he has against the Eagles and Cowboys combined.
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The Redskins and linebacker Zach Brown agreed to a three-year contract that will require Brown to continue to play at a high level if he is going to collect all of the $21 million the deal contains.
Brown’s camp reportedly was shopping for a contract that had some $20 million in guaranteed money. The actual deal fell well short of that.
Brown, who was leading the league in tackles before an assortment of injuries forced him to sit out the last three games, got a total of $5.5 million in fully guaranteed money. He got a $4.5 million signing bonus and his $1 million salary for 2018 is fully guaranteed.
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After that, the remaining two seasons essentially are team options. In 2019 he has a $6.75 million salary and $4.5 million of that is guaranteed for injury. His 2020 salary is $7.5 million with no guarantees of any kind.
The contract also has per-game roster bonuses available at a rate of $15,625 for each game he is on the 46-man game day roster in 2018 (total of $250,000 for the year) and $31,250 per game in 2019 and 2020 ($500,000 total).
The salary cap hits per year are as follows:
2018: $2.75 million
2019: $8.75 million
2020: $9.5 million
The average annual value of $7 million ranks ninth among inside linebackers.
Brown will need to continue to play well to collect on the contract. The team will be able to save $5.75 million on the 2019 cap if they terminate the deal after one season and $8 million if they do it in 2020.
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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.