Will the Redskins place the franchise tag on Brian Orakpo?

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins have until Monday afternoon to decide whether or not they will stop Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Orakpo from testing free agency.

The Redskins are debating whether or not to franchise tag their top pass rusher and former first round pick, Brian Orakpo. Washington's front office met over the weekend to decide the fate of the outside linebacker, according to the Washington Post's Mike Jones and Mark Maske. They added that the decision will be a "really close call."

According to Jones and Maske, the Redskins like Orakpo but the front office is differing over the price to keep him locked up with the tag. The Redskins currently have $29.67 million in salary cap space, according to Over The Cap. However, they would need to give a guaranteed sum of at least $11.5 million to Orakpo if they decided to tag him. The $11.5 million figure is for players listed as linebackers, but since Orakpo is a pass rusher, he could argue that he deserves the defensive end tag. The tag price defensive ends is $13.1 million. The matter would be cleared up by the amount of snaps he played at both positions.

Tagging Orakpo would leave the Redskins with between $18.1 and $16.4 million. While that is still a lot of cap room, it is reasonable to think that after shelling out huge contracts every offseason, the Redskins have learned their lesson with that sort of business. A franchise tag salary for Orakpo could likely be used to sign two or three starters for the team that finished at 3-13 last season.

The team has other options as well, as they could use the transition tag on Orakpo. The difference between the tags is that the franchise offers compensation in the form of draft picks for Orakpo signing elsewhere, while the transition tag offers nothing in return. However, the transition tag is cheaper, with linebackers getting $9.75 million and defensive end receiving $10.6 million.

This is an interesting situation that could impact the Eagles. If the Redskins tag Orakpo, it will shrink their cap space immensely and will likely stop them from signing any standouts in free agency. If the Redskins let Orakpo walk, their pass rushing department takes a massive hit. Also, the Eagles are looking for a premium pass rusher and could be open to signing the three-time Pro Bowl selection.

The deadline to tag players is on Monday.

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