The Washington Redskins face an interesting dilemma this offseason regarding outside linebacker Brian Orakpo. Should the keep him in the starting lineup or shop him around for a player that might plug another hole in the leaky defense?
The former first round pick out of Texas has been a staple in Washington's defense since coming in to the league four years ago. However, there are some growing concerns within the organization that Orakpo may price himself out of the Redskins' range when he becomes eligible for free agency following the '13 season. Brian spent the majority of the '12 season on injured reserve after reaggravating a torn pectoral muscle that he suffered in the final game of the '11 season.
Many pundits proclaimed the Redskins defense dead-on-arrival at the announcement of Orakpo's placement on injured reserve. Former seventh round draft pick Rob Jackson had other plans, stepping in to Orakpo's slot on the defense, and seemingly not missing a beat.
There will be some that won't agree but Rob Jackson made more of an impact in the fourteen games he started last season than Orakpo has made in his entire career. While certainly not the elite pass rusher that Orakpo has become, Jackson has become adapt at making big plays at pivotal moments of big games. His forced fumble against Baltimore at the beginning of the second half sent the Ravens in a tailspin that they couldn't recover from. His game changing sack of Eli Manning of the New York Giants on Monday Night Football changed the momentum of the game in to the Redskins favor. Finally, Redskins fans won't soon forget the interception of Tony Romo to clinch the NFC East divisional crown.
If the Redskins are able to secure Rob Jackson to a reasonable contract, Brian Orakpo could be on the outs and shopped around for additional secondary help. Washington is down $18 million in cap this season due to the bogus penalties stemming from CBA issues and is without its first round pick, which was used to move-up last season to draft RG3. They'll have to get creative and find crafty ways to upgrade their leaky defense.
If Orakpo can't improve his production, which has declined every year since his rookie season, the 'Skins could put an early end to the "Kerrakpo" tandem.
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