The Washington Redskins aren't known for their great young talent, especially on defense. So you would think they would do everything possible to keep their best players under contract.
But linebacker Brian Orakpo is a tricky player to evaluate. Coming off another torn pectoral muscle, ESPN.com's Dan Graziano writes that he believes the Redskins intend to let Orakpo play out the final year of his rookie contract instead of re-signing him to a long-term contract this offseason.
Orakpo has torn his left pectoral muscle twice in as many years, although it cost him significant playing time only in the 2012 season. Orakpo made the Pro Bowl in his first two seasons in the NFL, recording 29.5 sacks in his first 49 career games.
"I'm not worried about it," Orakpo said last week, via the Washington Post. "I'm concentrating on having a successful season. Everything will take care of itself."
Coach Mike Shanahan must have some concern about Orakpo's ability to stay healthy because there's little doubt he's a difference-making pass rusher. The Redskins also know they can use the franchise tag next offseason if necessary, and we know they rarely lose out on a free-agent bidding war.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.