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Franchise tag could complicate deal between Redskins and Orakpo

Franchise tag could complicate deal between Redskins and Orakpo

Now that the Redskins have tagged Brian Orakpo, the two sides can continue to negotiate a long-term contract. However, the very act of tagging the player and agreeing to pay him a guaranteed $11.45 million for the season may have thrown a significant monkey wrench into the negotiations.

The issue is that by essentially giving Orakpo a one-year contract the team has established his value at a minimum of $11.45 million per year. That makes him the third highest paid outside linebacker this year and a long-term deal averaging $11.45 million would make him the fourth highest-paid at his position.

And the expectations of the Orakpo camp could be higher than that. If they don’t agree to a long-term contract this year, the Redskins could tag him again next year. That would entitle Orakpo to 120 percent of what he made this year, or about $13.7 million guaranteed. That would bump his average annual salary up to just over $12.5 million per year for the two years. That would put him behind only Clay Matthews in terms of per year compensation.

Although the Redskins speak very highly of Orakpo and say that he’s a very valuable member of the team, they probably don’t think he’s worth more than Tamba Hali, Robert Mathis, Ahmad Brooks, Terrell Suggs, and others. Even with the cap at a record high $133 million this year and set to rise substantially for at least the next two years, the Redskins may not want to pay Orakpo that much more than his track record would warrant.

The establishment of a floor for negotiations may have been one reason why the Redskins waited until the last minute to apply the tag or even to let word leak that they were prepared to use it. As soon as they used the tag, they lost leverage.

We will see how this turns out. Both sides have some degree of leverage, which could mean it ends with a stalemate with Orakpo playing out the season on the tag salary.

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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