ASHBURN, Va. — The Washington Redskins placed a franchise tag on three-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Brian Orakpo on Monday, all but ensuring he will remain with the team next season.
The Redskins used the non-exclusive tag, worth about $11.5 million for 2014. He remains eligible to become a free agent later this month, but Washington will have the right to match any offer by another team and could receive two first-round draft picks as compensation if he signs elsewhere.
The Redskins will continue to work on a long-term deal with the 27-year-old 2009 first-round draft pick, whose play at times has straddled the line between good and elite, therefore making it a challenge to gauge his contract value. He has been most effective as a pass-rusher — 39½ sacks over five years — but he has twice torn the pectoral muscle near his left shoulder, leading to questions about his durability.
His chances of staying with the Redskins were helped when new coach Jay Gruden retained defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, who plans to keep the 3-4 scheme that suits Orakpo’s talents.
The Redskins can offer a generous deal to Orakpo now that their two-year, $36 million NFL-imposed salary-cap penalty has expired. But they have several other impending free agents on defense as well as various holes to fill elsewhere after a 3-13 season. They had previously re-signed cornerback DeAngelo Hall and defensive lineman Chris Baker.
The Redskins also agreed to terms with safety Jose Gumbs on Monday for a one-year deal worth $495,000. Gumbs, undrafted out of Monmouth, made his NFL debut with Washington last season, playing in eight games with one interception.
Orakpo had 10 sacks and his first career interception last season. He was selected with the No. 13 overall pick.