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Is tagging Orakpo a better move than a long-term deal?

Is tagging Orakpo a better move than a long-term deal?

Some notable websites are weighing in who teams might/should tag as their franchise players and two of them agree that the Redskins are likely to designate Brian Orakpo in that category.

Our corporate cousins at Pro Football Talk don’t think that the situation requires much thought.
If anyone gets tagged, it’ll be linebacker Brian Orakpo, who rebounded from a lost 2012 season with 10 sacks and a third career Pro Bowl berth.  If the team can’t sign him to a long-term deal, the tag should be a no-brainer.
On NFL.com, Gregg Rosenthal doesn’t put tagging Orakpo in the “no brainer” category but he believes that the Redskins will decide to do it.
After years of overpaying other teams' free agents, it'd be crazy for the Redskins to let a rare homegrown product get away.
At this point in time, in fact, the franchise tag might work better for the Redskins than a long-term contract. He was healthy all of last year until he missed the season finale with a strained groin but there have to be some lingering health concerns after he suffered two torn pectoral muscles in span of about 10 months in 2012. Keeping him for one year to see if he is truly healthy guaranteeing him $20 million or more would be a wise fiscal move by the Redskins.

It would also be a good idea to make sure that he can be a consistently high performer. He had 11 sacks as a rookie in 2009 and then went for three years without recording double digit sacks (including his injury-shortened 2012 season). Although he hasn’t fallen flat in his “off” seasons, if he wants elite long-term money the Redskins should take advantage of this one-year window to see if he’s worth it.

While Orakpo almost surely would rather have the security of a long-term deal in his pocket, he might have to settle for a guaranteed $11 million this year and the possibility of the big deal down the road if he stays healthy and performs well.

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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

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