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Five things you need to know about the Orakpo tag

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Five things you need to know about the Orakpo tag

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, March 4, seven days before the start of NFL free agency.

Nickel coverage

Here are five angles on the Redskins’ decision to put the franchise tag on Brian Orakpo.

1. Why did they do it?—In the end, they didn’t want to lose a home-grown, very good player at a very important position on the defense even if they perhaps would be overpaying him to an extent. They would rather have less cap space to work with than have to start over again when it comes to getting pressure on the opposing QB.

2. What does it do to the cap?—The move leaves them with less than $19 million in cap space, although they do have the ability to create more.

3. What are the ripple effects?—Ryan Kerrigan will be able to stay on the left side of the line, where he is more comfortable. But Rob Jackson, the only remaining member of the Redskins’ draft class of 2008, is unlikely to be back. He will probably head to a team where he will have an opportunity to start or at least have a more defined role.

4. Is there a fight coming?—There have been some reports that Orakpo’s camp will fight to have him designated a defensive end for tag salary purposes rather than a linebacker. That would mean higher pay to the tune of an extra $1.66 million. It seems doubtful that he will be successful but that won’t prevent his camp from trying.

5. What’s next?—Orakpo technically will still be a free agent when that opens up on March 11 and we’ll see if another team is willing to give up two first-round picks for the right to be able to pay Orakpo in excess of $10 million per year. Since that is highly unlikely to happen, Orakpo will have to decide when to sign his tender. When he does that $11.5 million salary becomes guaranteed and he must attend mandatory minicamp and training camp. He could opt not to sign and attempt to create pressure for a long-term deal by holding out.

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Timeline

—It’s been 65 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 187 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Free agency starts 7; Offseason workouts start 34; NFL Draft 65

In case you missed it

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How playing at Alabama may have actually hurt Jonathan Allen's draft stock

How playing at Alabama may have actually hurt Jonathan Allen's draft stock

For the past few seasons, Jonathan Allen was a stud at the heart of Alabama's defense. He was far from the only stud, however, and that might be another factor in why he slipped to the Redskins at pick No. 17 on Thursday night.

The chief concern about Allen is the health of his shoulders, but there's also the question of how he'll do when he's no longer with Nick Saban's star-laden unit. It's easy to succeed when you're a part of a loaded ensemble cast, the thinking might've gone when it came to Allen, but how will you do on your solo project?

In addition to Allen, the Crimson Tide featured Marlon Humphrey (who went 16th to the Ravens), Reuben Foster (who went 31st to the 49ers) and others, like Tim Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson and Ryan Anderson, all of whom could go in Friday's second and third rounds. Together, that's a tremendous defense, but in the NFL, they'll be striking out on their own.

MORE REDSKINS: NORMAN, COUSINS, OTHERS WELCOME ALLEN TO D.C.

That's another possible explanation for why the Redskins were able to nab what was almost a consensus top-five prospect so late in the event.

"He's a really talented pass rusher but he's always been surrounded by enough talent that it's been hard for offenses to game plan their protection for him," one NFC director of player personnel told NFL.com.

Now, it's not like Allen is joining a bunch of nobodies in Washington. Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith and Zach Brown will also be lining up with him in Greg Manusky's front-seven. Oh, and Allen is no slouch either — the list of his strengths in this particular scouting report contains words like "superior," "proficient," "consistent" and "excellent."

But it is probably fair to say that, comparatively speaking, the rookie won't be amongst as many skilled guys as he was in college. By rushing to the podium to snag him, however, the Redskins clearly expect him to handle the NFL transition just fine.

RELATED: REDSKINS REPORTEDLY LOOKING TO TRADE ONE OF THEIR OWN    

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Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon could be out of reach for Redskins per oddsmakers

Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon could be out of reach for Redskins per oddsmakers

Florida State running back Dalvin Cook visited Redskins Park earlier this month. The Redskins did their homework on Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon in advance of the draft.

All of that pre-draft work might not matter though as Cook and Mixon will be off the board before the Redskins pick in the second round. At least according to oddsmakers.

Bovada.lv set over/under scenarios for both players. Cook lands at 38.5 and Mixon landed at 42.5.

[Related: Top end talent still available for Redskins in second round, but red flags remain]

Certainly both guys can go past the numbers established by the oddsmakers, but there's a reason drinks are free in Las Vegas. Oddsmakers tend to be very, very close when they set lines.

Considering that, if Washington wants either player, the team would likely have to trade up.

Much speculation has Cook the first player off the board to the Packers with the 33rd pick. It seems like a good fit.

[Related: Casserly says that Jonathan Allen is a more talented player than Solomon Thomas]

Mixon is more interesting. His loathsome action a few years back that was caught on video will continue to haunt him, but he will get drafted in the second round. He has the talent.

Bruce Allen has the capital to make a move. The team has nine more picks in the next six rounds. There's also the report that the team is shopping third-year pro Matt Jones.

Could a package of Jones and a late round pick entice a trade? It could.

Much like Thursday night, there will be plenty to watch Friday night.

More Redskins: Need to know: Five possible second and third round picks for the Redskins