Eagles Wake-Up Call: What About Orakpo?

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The Eagles need to improve their pass rush and Brian Orakpo is largely considered the top outside linebacker on the free-agent market, so we figured we would take a closer look to see if this is a potential fit.

Why it works

Orakpo (6-4, 257 pounds) is 27 years old, which falls within  Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman‘s preferred age range.  They want to bring in players who can not only contribute now but also be a part of the core moving forward, and Orakpo seemingly fits the bill. After dealing with a pec injury that cost him most of 2012, he played in 15 games this past season and finished with 10 sacks, nine stuffs, two fumble recoveries and 29 hurries. He was named to his third Pro Bowl.


He dropped into coverage 13 percent of the time this year and did a decent job, according to Washington Post Redskins beat reporter Mike Jones, and came up with his first career interception. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett started blitzing him more down the stretch. Seven of his 10 sacks came in Washington's final seven games.

Orakpo plays right outside linebacker -- the same side as Trent Cole. With 39.5 sacks over his five-year career, Orakpo could provide an immediate boost to the pass rush.

Why it doesn't

The Eagles are more inclined to go after several mid-level targets as opposed to chasing the big ticket free agents. Orakpo is perhaps the top outside linebacker on the market and won't be cheap. As a frame of reference, Paul Kruger signed a five-year, 40.5 million contract ($20 million guaranteed) with the Browns last offseason.

At the Senior Bowl this week, Haslett called re-signing Orakpo a priority. Orakpo says that he wants to return to Washington.

"They haven't started negotiations, but he says he wants to be back here," said Jones. "They would probably like to work something out long-term. [The franchise tag] is probably an option but they haven't used it much."

As Jones points out Washington does not have a first-round pick in the 2014 draft (their No. 2 overall selection is going to the Rams as part of the RGIII deal), so they don't have the option of going after a pass-rusher early on to try and replace Orakpo's production. Their best course of action is to keep the Texas product.

Analysis

The Eagles would probably be reluctant to spend the kind of money Orakpo will command on one player, and Washington sounds like it is intent on bringing him back. A partnership seems unlikely, in other words, but we'll see how things develop as we get closer to the start of free agency.

WHAT YOU MISSED

The Eagles need to make a call on Jason Avant soon.

A couple recent mock drafts have safety Calvin Pryor going to the Eagles at 22. 

In Sheil's latest Senior Bowl diary, he takes a look at one outside linebacker that could be a fit.

Roseman is looking for players that won't rock the boat because he don't want his boat to be rockin'.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Jimmy Kempski on one safety that caught his eye at the Senior Bowl.

Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward has been impressive this week, but a big knock on him will be his size, at 5'10, 191. However, Ward could be an interesting fit for the Eagles because of his ability to play the slot. This past season, the Eagles showed that they liked to stay in their base 3-4 at times against 3 WR sets, and drop their safety down to cover the slot receiver. This resulted in Patrick Chung getting a thorough toasting. Ward is a player who could do that, but probably needs to bulk up a bit to stay at safety in the NFL.

Phil Sheridan on the recent news that Chris Polk had shoulder surgery, and the level of injury secrecy under Kelly.

If that’s the case with Polk, it raises questions about other players. Safety Patrick Chung became the player fans loved to hate for his missed tackles and perceived blown coverages. But Chung “had a shoulder” after the Week 3 loss to Kansas City. He missed two games and then tried to come back too soon, leaving the Tampa Bay game after just 12 defensive snaps...

Was Chung a free-agent bust who lost his job to a fifth-round pick? Or was Chung a veteran gutting out and playing hurt because the team was desperately thin at safety?

Injury deception affects perception...

Kelly is a long way from being the first coach to keep injury information as limited as possible. Maybe it provides some competitive advantage. But that secrecy can also be a disservice to the players themselves.

COMING UP

The offseason conversation rolls on.

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  • Will

    I Like Orakpo but not the price tag…better off snagging an OLB in the Draft…

    • Tom W

      I think we eventually end up w either barr, attouchi, or smith. Van noy seems more like a 4-3 lb to me and probably better on the inside. Same things the scouts are saying — not as comfortable rushing 75 percent of the time just blitzing.

      • Will

        Van Noy is someone that had 3 Eagles people talking with him at the Senior Bowl…so that’s why writers assuming philly has interest…

  • FluxCapacitor

    Don’t see it happening. I believe Cole is here for another year, which would provide a great oppty for a rookie to come in and get adjusted to the NFL and the scheme.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Yup and financially this is clearly the best route, Orakpo costs too much

    • JofreyRice

      Sometimes I wonder if we are fixated on moving on from Cole a lot more than the organization is. He’s not 38, he’s 32, and was decently productive after making a very difficult transition; contributed to the run defense right away, and improved his passrush and coverage down the stretch. I do think we need a better pure passrusher, but who knows what the Eagles really think?

      • Adam

        At the very least Cole gives us some breathing room. We could take a less polished guy who we could use as a 3rd down/pass rush specialist as Cole still plays the run very well.

        • cliff henny

          yup. allows to find an olbr that’s further along as rusher right now and work on setting edge, dropping, et. be alot more of those guys. not many come out as pass rushers and edgesetters, and if so, gone in top10.

        • JofreyRice

          yep. The more I read about Dee Ford, the more I’m liking the idea of taking him in the 2nd. VG edge rusher that is suspect against the run. Don’t know if he fits the measurables, though.

          • Tom W

            dunno if he lasts to second and really on played well for half a season.

      • NineseveN

        Exactly. I don’t think the organization is as in a hurry to move on from Cole as some of the fans are. Ideal scenario for me is a solid FA safety (if not Byrd, top of the next tier down) and draft a solid OLB prospect to rotate in year 1, adding another safety late in the draft if one is available. They can do whatever they want in between.

      • anon

        My point exactly.

    • mtn_green

      I see this as most likely. I think it’s possible that eagles bring in another Connor barwin mid level rolb guy, maybe more oriented for pass rusher.
      Easily see eagles drafting one olb early and another late and grooming them both behind cole, unless they beat him in tc.

  • G_WallyHunter

    Lol Phil Sheridan
    Apparently he thinks being secretive about injuries as a competitive advantage is the same thing as playing an injured player (who’s not even average talent at full health) against his own will and risking further injury? Ya that makes sense Phil.
    Hilarious connection, guys a laugh and a half

    • cliff henny

      went to his blog, no traffic. maybe 2 or 3 comments. best was (paraphrase) ‘same article was on PM 24/7 yesterday, had 200+ comments, mine is the first after a day…you suck’.

      • Will

        LMAO…

      • G_WallyHunter

        Lol good to see I’m not the only one..
        He does it to himself, making a crazy connection like that, I’m just going off the excerpt didn’t read article, read enough to see how dumb that is. Keeping secret about injuries is one thing but playing injured players and risking your own job? Really Phil?
        His attempt to hoard page views and traffic has pretty much backfired haha

        • peteike

          read my link above and you may rethink that. Whos really risking their jobs? They have this stuff all covered with the medical staffs to prevent future lawsuits and culpability. Of course it depends on injury severity and the particular player etc but bubble players play through injuries all the time. The medical staffs make the training room rehab so hard that they are better off practicing hurt then going through the rehab.

          • G_WallyHunter

            If the league found out chip and staff were knowingly playing players with injuries thenhis job may not be on the line but punishment would definitely happen.

          • peteike

            serious gray area there so hard to prove it was intentional esp if a player looks like they are fine to play and are actually on the field playing. Its more player vs NFL than NFL vs team/coach. Really good link I posted, I cant recommend it enough, was eye opening.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Alright ill check it out when not on mobile, I see what u mean there the player isn’t going to throw the team and staff under the bus…

      • GEAGLE

        Phil Sheridan has a blog? Lol your serious?

        • cliff henny

          whatever you want to call that on espn.
          .
          want a good laugh? goto bloggingtheboys and read comment section on kicker signing. some fun bickering back and frth. can feel the fustration. one post goes over cap, this puts them at 150m, 27m over. writer moves heaven and earth, gets them to 4m under.

          • GEAGLE

            Hahahahah I def will

        • Tom W

          isn’t that bad. nice quick read.

    • Clamdigger

      Seeing as most of the players in the league play with nagging injuries all year long, Sheridan just seems incredibly naive. Peters had like 5 different injuries this season.

      • G_WallyHunter

        Haha ya, then we’re talking about players being secretive about injuries to their coach, which completely goes against Sheridans argument lol.. player toughness

  • cliff henny

    solid player, show interest if only to run up price tag on Washington. Snyder and his ego seeing 215 area code should be worth another 5m against cap. i’d be on-board if he was signed after the in-house contracts are restructured/extended and top tier safety free agent was signed. probably even want vet under-valued cb signed, another fletcher type, worked into cap before Orakpo.

    • GEAGLE

      I hope we run up the price on every single Cleveland brown!!

      That idiot banner fired Chud after one year and replaced him with Pettine..that’s like buying a Pepsi, tasting it, spitting it out, walk back into the store and buy a Coke lol…silly bastard

      • cliff henny

        part i like is banner wants to be some hardass cap genius, but his rep now is so trashed that he has to pay a premium to keep/get players. poor browns fans, tat team is in crapper for years to come

      • Dominik

        Have to say though, signing Gase didn’t sound like a great idea, also. Maybe he is a talented coach, but damn, one year OC with freaking Peyton Manning as QB shouldn’t give you a HC position. Look at what Bevell and especially Vic Fangio are doing on a consistent basis, that’s great Coordinator work.

        Banner had the right idea last year, though. As Eagles Fans we can only say:

        • peteike

          dont underestimate Gase, hes a pretty savy young coordinator. I live in Denver and listen to a lot of local radio. He will of course always have that PM crutch but it doesnt mean hes not a good coord. They only broke records so not sure how much better he could have done. Hes a pedal to the medal guy thats why they scored so much whereas McCoy was more conservative before leaving for SD. Fans were upset last season when they kneeled down to go to OT at the end of the ravens game, then again that was fox as much as anyone.

          • Dominik

            I’m not saying that he’s not talented. I just say: wait until Manning is gone until you rate him as a Coord. Or wait at least three years with Manning until you rate him.

            One year as Coord with Peyton Manning at QB shouldn’t be enough the become HC, imho.

    • Tom W

      good view. smart.

  • Brian

    I’d much rather spend the money on a safety, tackle, or WR. Let Cole and Berwin bring a rookie up to speed. What do you guys think about signing Eric Decker?

    • Uncle Wonder

      Not sure on Decker…what does he actually do well? Idk he isnt a system WR like Riley. Peyton makes receivers look VERY good.

      • Brian

        I would argue that Foles does as well. I guess the choice is Maclin or a free agent? My thinking would be to sign Decker, and either slot him, or move Cooper to the slot.

        • anon

          Cooper isn’t a route runner. Decker is going to get paid. Take Maclin at a discount and draft a the next D. Thomas.

      • peteike

        Decker is a beast, size, speed, hands. He will be a 7/8 mil a season guy though so it is pricey but I think hes potentially worth it. Great in the red zone also.

  • Uncle Wonder

    Fits a need…will probably be expensive…so the question is which position does the FO feel most deficient at? S or OLB? ILB or NT? I like to refrain from making projections b/c after just one offseason we dont really know the modus operandi of this particular FO yet.

    • NickS1

      I’d feel more deficient at S, than OLB, simply because Cole and Graham are at least serviceable and we’re basically stuck with them for another year, anyway, because of their contracts. Our safety talent as a whole leaves entirely too much to be desired, plus, 3 are free agents and 1 needs to become a free agent as soon as possible. Only Wolff and whichever S they resign for ST purposes should be on the roster come start of FA (at least I’m hoping for this, if the don’t cut Chung I’ll lose it). Think they make a serious push for Byrd/Ward, draft a S in round 2 or 3 (unless Pryor falls to them), and add some real low end FAs to duke it out for the 2nd/3rd backup S and ST.

      • Uncle Wonder

        TBH, we are very comfortable cap-wise. We could really make a hard push to bring in upper echelon guys at S and OLB

        • NickS1

          We are comfortable cap-wise, however, can’t see that as a likelihood when we’re going to have some young talent coming due in the next season or two. If Foles kills it next year, too, gotta try to give him an extension, Cox and Kendricks, as well. We have the immediate cap space, and what you’re suggesting certainly isn’t impossible, I just don’t see Howie & Co. putting themselves in the position where they may have to be scrambling to restructure deals or have to make hard decisions on key guys (i.e. Boldin, last year).

        • Tom W

          For one year — but to not look at the cap hit 2-4 years down the road is obtuse bc that is what howie and the fo are doing … they are looking at how they gonna resign the CORE of the team…the guys they drafted and asked to bust their ass and buyin from dayone and grow with this team and build the chemstry and set the right example … Kelce, Coop, Thornton, Foles, Boykin, Kendricks, maybe curry, maybe brown, etc… do you want all those guys at team friendly deals (cause they grew here and wouldn’t get a chance to test free agency bc we sign them earlier) or do you want two outsiders you paid at top dollar whose output will most likely regress after 29 and naturally isn’t playing for anything cause they just got their big contract and isnt invested w chip and the team cause they are outsiders.

          • NickS1

            I think it’s unfair to assume that just because they got the big contract and are outsiders that they will automatically just half-ass it. I get your point that they aren’t assimilated, but that’s what you do your due diligence for. We make these prognostications with the assumption that a guy would likely fit in. Also, while I get the point about they’d be 30 and might regress, it’s no guarantee, and we have plenty of guys over 30 now who played good to great football. Other than that, we’ve already established that we agree it’s unwise to add 2 big signings for forward-looking cap concerns.

          • Tom W

            They are extra concerns – I’m not saying absolutes but other things along w money that howie considers and weigh in…. cannot must not be ignored… but I would bet my monthly salary there is a regression analysis out there or in howie’s hand that shows free agents over a certain age have a severe decrease in output after signing that second big contract. exceptions yes, but i would be shocked if the conclusion were different. and the team chemistry thing is a big deal .. they may “fit in” but I am more talking about the other first contrat born bred players getting annoyed outsiders are getting paid big bucks and they are asked to take team friendly deals when their time is up and not test free agency. ie cox is asked to resign a year early at a team friendly deal … he says hey I should get atleast market value bc u paid orapko over market value just a year ago … sets bad precedent and internal animosity between front office and players ….. add in asking vets like avant, demeco and celek and todd to take pay cuts and people get really pissed off after buying in and busting their ass.

    • GEAGLE

      If they were to spend big money on a position, and draft a position….I can assure you they would spend money on the safety, and draft the OLB

      • Uncle Wonder

        We could lose as many as 4 safeties this offseason…though i imagine we will bring at least one back just for purposes of continuity…but with that kinda attrition, wouldnt that be reason to not spend big on any one guy? Let’s say we need to get 3 guys, how much do we want to tie up in the position in a single offseason? We will have to draft at least one S by end of day 2 or we are playing on dangerous ground. We can get away with just one new OLB though.

    • Tom W

      I disagree. The GM said weeks ago that he isn’t going down this road again or following the cowboys or skins of trying to buy a championship through free agency … and to buy effectively you have to outbid everyone this year bc there is teams w 60 mil under the cap they must spend. So we know exactly what the modus operandi is. May there be exceptions sure, but we won’t be paying top dollar market value for any free agent stud (byrd, orapko, decker,etc) after their value is bid up by all the shit teams. kills your cap space to sign kelce, coop, thorton, foles, cox, kendricks, boykin, maybe curry, maybe brown, etc in two years and be able to either resign peters for another 10 mil for a year

      • Uncle Wonder

        Sounds like youre very trusting and take things at face value. I’m just not ready to proclaim I know what they have up their sleeves. People and organizations are a sum of contradictions, especially when emotions are thrown in. Sometimes they say things and do the opposite. We have one offseason as a body of work and a few comments from the GM…thats not enough for me to assume blanket clairvoyance on the goings-on in the FO. If it was Andy and Banner then sure…we know their MO like the backs of our hands…signing FAs to upgrade your team doesnt necessarily point to a philosophy of trying to ‘buy’ championships…the problem with what Snyder was doing was that he was just trying to sign the biggest names year after year regardless of fit or skillset and he ended up trying to push square pegs into round holes. If we pick up two or three expensive guys we can afford in a single offseason so what? Would you feel betrayed? Lied to? Would you be mad that we are trying to put the best possible team on the field now? Normal attrition will make sure we have cap space down the line

  • GEAGLE

    If we break the piggy bank open it would be for a safety, not Orakpo.

    I’m not sure why ever article is regurgitating the sentiment that we will only sign midlevel guys in FA? Why? Because that’s what we did last year, when we had 16 holes to fill? Or is it because Howie hasn’t announced “we will aggressively go after Jarius Byrd”?….I don’t believe this will be some strict building guideline we adhere to. like all good personel people, we will take it on a case by case basis….if there is a player that costs money, but his value matches what he will bring to the team, as long as he is I’m the right age Bracket, I’m sure we would go after him,…but you won’t be hearing any leaked rumors about who we will go after. It’s not Howies style to allow that sort of intel leaked..we never heard any rumors about us going after NNamdi..we kept it secret, swooped in, got the deal done and then announced it..

    We aren’t going to hear any rumors about going after Byrd or Ward, but I’m sure we will take a look at them. heck last year we were interested in Dashon Goldston, but were turned off immediately when we heard the price tag. That tells me that they are open to spending some money on veteran safety….when they asked about Goldson, they had to know it wasn’t going to be cheap…maybe he was overvalued because the safety market was so weak last year, maybe it was too much to spend when we had so many holes to fill….Ward and Byrd are better players, we have a ton of money, and significantly less holes to fill then we did going into last years market….I don’t expect us to sign 7 free agents again…so if we don’t need to sign that many, I wouldn’t rule out adding more quality, since last year was about adding quantity..

    I woulda love to know that we will go after Byrd aggressively, but sometimes when you think there is no shot, that’s exactly what Howie plans on doing….I’ll comfortably rule out Orakpo, but I’m not ready to rule out spending money on elite 27-28yr old safeties

    • Will

      Good Safeties are thin in the draft as well as the FA market….I loved to have Byrd but do not see them doing a 40 million dollar contract on one player….I think they window shop but end up doing mid-level guys to plug in like Clemons to go with a drafted guy…or wouldn’t be shocked if they resign Allen in the end for cost effective reasons…So they go Clemons/Allen/Wolff and a drafted safety cutting Chung when it’s all said and done…

      • Brian

        I wonder what his relationship with Chip is like. If we do go hard for him, you can bet it’s because Chip wants him. Either way, that would say a lot about the type of player/person Byrd is.

        • Will

          Maybe they are on great terms and Byrd wants to play for Chip. Everything I’ve read Byrd just says he wants to be the highest paid Safety so we shall see…I think the Eagles go 3-4 million a year tops on Safety ….which is Allen/Clemons market numbers and you got 2 guys that do everything good but nothing great…and if we are lucky Deone Buccanon falls to us in the draft…

    • Token

      No reason they cant easily afford both. They will have a ton of money available when the cuts happen.

      But im guessing Orakpo stays in Washington. The only hope there is that Gruden doesnt see fit to keep him.

      But I agree, people act like Howie is gonna come out and announce they are about to throw money around. Why would a GM do that? When have the Eagles ever made their plans clear to the media?

      • Adam

        Agreed on all points.

        If Howie were to come out and say, “we need a safety badly, and we’re willing to spend”, Ward and Byrd’s agents eyes would do that dollar sign thing like in the cartoons.

        Howie is pretty damn good at keeping things quiet. Even during the dream team signings and last year, I don’t think we were really linked to many of the FA’s we signed until after we signed them.

        • Tom W

          You guys are missing the point. there are 30 other teams along w a bunch of shitty teams w alot of money who are going to throw a boatload at 2 of the top 3 free agents in the entire free agent class this year — byrd and orapko. If we got them (which I dont want whatsover) we will have to pay top dollar .. 9 mil a year for byrd and probably 9-10 mil a year for orapko … w 50-60 mil guaranteed for the two of them.

          we aint getting them anyway — because we aren’t getting in a bidding war.

          third, we shouldn’t get them anyway because its not how you build a great team and keep your own players happy and resign them and have money for emergencies. Its not the way you properly manage the cap and put your team in best position to win year after year.

          • Tom stfu

            Stfu

      • Tom W

        2011 we announced we were going to be big players in free agency.

        Its not about easily affording for one fucking year, its about being able to withstand the impact on the cap for 5 years, resign your own drafted players, and not fucking ruin team chemistry over the long haul by paying outsiders a shitload and cutting your own born and bred guys after you asked them to bust their ass for your for the first 4 yrs of their career. It also makes your internal free agents wanna get paid big bucks and not give out team friendly discounts if you go out and blow your load on outsiders.

        • Token

          Actually they didnt. Nobody even knew they were interested in Asomugha until they signed him.

          Again, worry about the cap is a waste. One thing Howie wont do is let that become a issue.

    • Ark87

      The sentiment derives from Howie saying something along the lines that they learned their lesson when it comes to trying to fix the team with high dollar free agents. That’s the Washington way, that’s the Dallas way. The philly way is be stingy mofo’s. I wouldn’t mind ponying up for a safety, though. Won’t write off the possibility, but I have my doubts that it will happen.

      • Token

        Even contenders add free agents.

        You just have to be good at evaluating talent, and trust that evaluation.

        The “batting average” approach sounds like a scared approach to me. Signing a bunch of average players and hoping one or two turn out?

        I dont think Howie has ever been one to be gun shy. We’ll see. If they really like a player they will pay them IMO. Id hope the dream team didnt scar him that badly.

        • Ark87

          The problem is that every FA’s value will be measured and priced out by our FO. And while Howie may be willing to shell out a lot of cash for a top FA, most coveted commodities will receive an offer for more than they’re worth. I’m not sure Howie will get into a bidding war for anyone, anymore. Now if a certain FA has higher value to us than other teams (like James Casey, who we had bigger plans for than anybody else), then things happen. This time around, everybody is desperate for a safety, and somebody is going to put up fool-ass money. Hope I’m wrong and we land him for a reasonable price.

          • Tom W

            Correct again.

          • BleedGreenJames

            Haha, fool-ass money. I like that.

        • jabostick

          I don’t know that it’s being gun shy, I think it is more acknowledging that the successful teams don’t tend to win that way. Add guys – yes, go on big spending sprees – no.

          One thing Howie should get credit for is that, even with the Dream Team, those contracts weren’t prohibitive. They were generally all low-risk/minimal committment, even if some of the dollar amounts were high.

          • Tom W

            Correct.

        • Tom W

          great so you disagree w Howie’s approach. doesn’t mean the authors lied about what Howie said his approach. also kinda makes the suggestion to sign orapko and byrd misguided because one the gm said we aren’t repeating failed fa strategy and two we are building from the draft and three it worked well enough last year so why would they change.

      • Tom W

        Couldn’t have said it any better myself. Don’t understand why people conveniently ignore what the GM said and how the team conducted free agency last year.

    • livingonapear

      I think a lot of this has to do with people looking for Chip Kelly to be different from the past in every way.

    • anon

      If we got turned of by Goldson’s price tag what make you think we wouldn’t be turned off by a guy that wants to be the highest paid safety in football. Since 2011 i don’t think the Eagles have bought in any big money FAs.

      Even last year we didn’t even go after mid-level FAs. We just took fliers on injured guys that teams let walk (and Sconces who wasn’t a starter). I’ve seen no indication that we’re in “win now” mode the way we were in 2011 before the Vick train was de-railed.

    • Tom W

      Howie said three weeks ago he wants to follow the batting average approach and build through the draft. You forget to mention that it making this same argument for the twentieth time. You are regurgitating your argument that the general manager has publicly turned his back on. are there exceptions sure, but don’t blast the authors for saying exactly what Howie said a couple weeks ago corroborrated by what he did last year. To suggest or write articles supporting your position would be incorrect based on what the reporter knows is already in the public domain.

    • Brandon

      This whole midlevel thing is getting blown way out of proportion. Howie is just saying we aren’t going to overpay anymore like we did with the “Dream Team”. We are going to pay a guy what he’s worth and no more. If we can get Byrd or Orakpo or Ward or whatever big name guy for fair value without overpaying, Howie will do it. We just aren’t going to pull a redskins anymore and sign big name guys to absurd contracts anymore (cough Nmandi) to make a “splash”.

  • Giorgos Kassakos

    Orakpo would be a nice addition and I don’t think the Eagles would have to throw a boatload of money to sign him. Additionally, if he is signed, Graham is gone ($3.4 millions in 2014), so there is still enough money left for other needs.

    The point is Orakpo will either re-sign with the Redskins or he will be tagged. So him in an Eagles jersey is a long shot.

    • JofreyRice

      I would imagine he’s going to get a boatload of money. A mid career 3-4 passrusher that’s been to multiple probowls and averaged about 10 sacks a season?

      For that same reason I agree I don’t think the Redskins let him get away. Even with a firstround pick, you’re not likely to find a guy that’s going to produce as much as Orakpo on his rookie contract.

      • Giorgos Kassakos

        He made it to three Pro Bowls in five years. Keep in mind, though, that this year he went to Hawaii as an injury replacement. In my books, that makes it two Pro Bowls.

        He is 27 and this is probably his big chance to make big cash. But who knows? He might be OK with a lesser amount and a competitive team than the highly explosive franchise that is the Redskins.

        Again, I too think he stays in DC.

        • Tom W

          Is anyone okay w less money on his first BIG contract. NOpe. There is also 30 teams who could sign him to giant money not just the skins or eagles.

    • Tom W

      He will get a shitload. Horrible free agency class vs alot of shitty teams w money vs he is young and top free agent at a premium position. easy 8 million a year if not 10 mil spread over 5-6 yrs w 25-30 mil guaranteed. Yikes.

      We aint getting him anyway

  • GiveMeABreak

    Orakpo is a beast and has done well on one of the most dysfunctional professional sports teams in the world. He wants to win and be on a contender.

    • anon

      No he wants to stay a redskin

  • Colin Baggs

    Mark my words right now. YAWIN SMALLWOOD lb UCONN in the 2nd Rd. This man is a beast.

    • Colin Baggs

      he is constantly around the football. so underrated because of the team he plays on. We would be lucky to get him.

      • Token

        Is he your cousin?

        • Colin Baggs

          Yes. My mom’s sister’s son.

          • Colin Baggs

            No. I just wanted to put my flag in the ground for when Geagle tries to claim he was the first to get on the Yawin Smallwood train.

          • Tom W

            good call.

  • Token

    My pipe dream is having Orakpo and Byrd signed going into the draft. One can dream.

    • Adam

      That’d be something. You could truly go BPA if we managed to get those guys.

      • Token

        Yep.

        Both guys entering their prime. I know theres a number of people who dont like Orakpo. But I think hes a guy that could be about to burst. And from what Ive seen hes a good teammate, hard worker. You dont have to worry about him quitting after his payday.

        Byrd on the other hand, I dont know that personality at all. It worries me a bit. But its worth the risk.

        • JofreyRice

          He’s a gym rat, as well. I’m sure he’d love the sports science stuff. Could possibly take his game to another level. I just can’t possibly see Washington letting him walk. Who would take his spot? For as much as that franchise has paid for moribund free agents, I can’t see them letting a very good player walk out the door for a compensatory pick.

          The hardest part about evaluating Byrd is the personality angle–his play as a free safety is unquestioningly excellent. When assessing his personality, I think you have to take the organization into account. They are notoriously cheap. An outside observer might have called Jason Peters a malcontent during his time there, and I think he’s been a hard ass worker and good teammate in Philly. I think that’s where the history with Chip will come in handy.

    • Will

      That would sure up the defense lol…Howie pretty much has said over and over they are gonna do mid-level guys and continue to build thru the draft….

      • Token

        Never listen to what is said to the media.

        • Will

          Accurately assessing Orakpo’s value on the open market, should he get there, will be difficult. Green Bay outside linebacker Clay Matthews signed a six-year, $69.73 million contract extension with the Packers in April. On the other end of the spectrum, the Cleveland Browns handed Paul Kruger, primarily a backup in four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, a five-year, $40.5 million contract in March.

          Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/19/strong-finish-should-help-brian-orakpo-contract-ta/#ixzz2rKR4PHpA
          Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

          So yeah the Eagles sign two Defensive players in Byrd/Orakpo to 40 million dollar contracts each….lol….Like Chip said not falling for the Banana in the tail pipe……

          • Tom W

            good call.

          • Tom W

            orapko is getting 10 mil a year and 30 mil guaranteed atleast. byrd probably 9 mil a year and 25-30 mil guaranteed from someone. that close to 60 mil .. on just two guys w having huge cap ramifications.

        • Tom W

          Plus skins w franchise or resign cause they dont have a first round pick.

    • Tom W

      never happen. Plus, Orapko is injury prone and hasn’t shown elite ability in a few years.

      • Token

        I believe he was a top four rated 3-4 OLB by PFF this year. Hes a good player entering his prime. But I do believe he is kept in Washington.

  • Adam

    Graham: “What was your gut reaction to hearing Pettine had gotten the Browns job?”

    Byrd: “I’d really rather not answer that.”

    Graham: “You’re entering your sixth season, and the Bills will have their fifth defensive coordinator. What are your thoughts on that?”

    Byrd [laughing]: “Same as the last one. I won’t answer that one.”

    Graham: “How will Pettine’s departure impact the likelihood you’ll return to the Bills?”

    Byrd [laughing harder]: “You’re oh for three.”

    • Token

      That guy wants out badly I think. They can franchise him again for 8.2 million. Dont think that would go well. I have a hard time seeing him signing a extension there. Its a mess of a franchise.

      • Adam

        Yeah I think it’s in their best interest just to let him walk so they can get their compensatory pick from him sooner than later. Wouldn’t be surprised if that foot injury were to act up again if he were to get tagged.

    • cliff henny

      just start fitting him for a helmet at novacare center and let’s get this over with. may be some teams with equal money, but he isnt going from one dysfunctional team to another. still have to pony up, but chip and 10 wins should help

  • JofreyRice

    If Orakpo comes free, I’d pay him, I don’t see why they couldn’t bring in Byrd and Orakpo, or Orakpo and some other S they really like. They have the space. They need the players. Both of those guys have played at a really high level since joining the league. No way they’re just going to fall off a cliff.

    Fill those two pressing needs, and they can do whatever they want in the draft–take one of the extremely talented receivers, get another bookend tackle like Kouandjio, pick up Hageman. They can use the later rounds to grab a developmental edge rusher and a S.

    It doesn’t always work out that you can fill your biggest needs with high quality players, but if the free agent market produces Orakpo and Byrd, that will be the case for the Eagles.

    • Token

      Yea its the best case scenario. I think Byrd gets free. Kinda doubting that Orakpo does but who knows. More then enough space to get both of them. Howie can structure the contracts well.

      • Tom W

        No chance we do that. First, Goes against everything Howie has said over the last year. Second, there is this thing called other teams who have more money than us who will overpay the top players to lure them to their shitty teams. Third, it screws our cap up by paying strangers then pisses off the internal drafted guys who wanna get paid and been busting their ass here for years … really bad for team chemistry. One year 8 mil deals is different if a guy gets free. Long term deals really going to make it tough to sign your core players like Kelce, Cooper, Thornton, foles, boykin, cox, kendricks, maybe curry, maybe brown

        • Token

          Dont get why people take what is said to the press as fact. Not sure you get how this stuff works. Press clippings are generally fodder for the casuals. Meaningless.

          One thing you never have to worry about with the Eagles is the cap. They will never ever be in “cap hell”, if that even exists anymore. Even when they went the dream team route it wasnt a issue.

          If the Eagles like Byrd or Orakpo there is nothing stopping them from making a play for them.

          • Tom W

            They aren’t in cap hell bc they don’t overspend ever … Since 2005 we never went out at overloaded in free agency besides 2011 when it was a one year deal. That’s why the cap is so good. If we signed both Byrd and orapko the cap would become a problem in 1 yr w kelce and foles and Thornton and 2 yrs w Boykin and cox and others etc. Otherwise there is no reason not to sign both of them if you are so convinced we can’t do anything to screw up the cap. That type of conclusion shows the weakness in your argument. They manage it well bc they don’t spend like assholes period. Signing two topnotch free agents — literally two best — is going to be a 12 mil cap hit each and a serious marriage for 4 years atleast.

    • NickS1

      I don’t see it. If Orakpo hits FA, he’s the best FA OLB out there, and he’s going to be over-valued most likely. While we have cap space now, we will have some guys to pay in the next year or two. Bringing in both hurts the ability to do that. Still have Graham and Cole on the books for 10mil between them this year. Even if we cut/trade Graham for a low rd pick, still eat the dead money which is 100k more than his cap hit now. Can June 1st him, which makes his dead money 1.7 each year. Either way, adding Orakpo makes that about 20mil this year for 3 ROLBs. That’s not even including the other OLBs. Foles, if he plays well again next season (since no one wants to label him franchise QB yet), will be up for extension, as will Cox and Kendricks. Kelce might be as well. I just think there’s too many other considerations outside of cap space at this very moment to add Byrd and Orakpo. I think it’s one or the other, likely Byrd, since we A) don’t have as much $ tied into S, B), have 1 maybe 2 on the books going into FA, C) we have no talent at S outside of Wolff, who’s still inexperienced, and D) it’s our White Whale since Dawk left.
      If we didn’t add Byrd and went like a Clemons-type, could see adding Orakpo. Still think he’ll end up over-paid, though.

      • anon

        Unclear if Byrd gets out of Buffalo, they might just pay. I think likely we get a solid second tier type or maybe Ward. I think we’ll get a respectable first round pick — Mike Evans would be my fav but i don’t think he’d last to 22, so im open to one of the other highly touted pick at WR or OLB.

        • NickS1

          Very true. Was working under assumption he’s out of Buffalo, which I think is more likely than him staying, but, never know. Would love Mike Evans, but hit the nail on the head, don’t see him lasting. Hope he has a terrible combine haha.

      • Tom W

        exactly. And most importantly HOWIE said numerous times we aren’t buying all the shiny new toyz…. no way in hell we sign Orapko and Byrd because neither will be cheap at all and insinuating they would is idiotic.

        • NickS1

          I mean I’m not about to start insulting the rationale of people who want it to happen. I’d take it all day. But, no, it’s not feasible to sign both. One or the other. Give me Byrd.

          • Tom W

            I want orapko, byrd, decker, nt from miami and hauska oh and josh mccown. But hey its my rational so its okay to say it although there is not chance in hell it will happen based on what are FO has done and said, because its bad for team chemistry, and it screws up your cap situation when you need to resign your homegown guys, and you will have to pay top dollar for them both bc this free agent class sucks. To say signing both is smart, doable, and a good idea is both short cited and wrong. When did orapko become some fail-safe option ..some elite option. he had a good rookie year and has been hurt and underpeformed and had an okay year this year but not an elite top 10 olb year by any means. we are inflating his value. Can’t just look at the cap sitiuation one year down the road … gotta look 2-4 years. And if one of these two bomb out you are fucked bc they will be getting 50 mil combined guaranteed. so the dead money hit will be huge for 4 yrs. you are married to them much like we are to cole after fat andy overpaid him stupidly.

          • NickS1

            He graded out as a top 5 OLB this year. I don’t disagree with your sentiments about him, but he did grade out that high.

          • Tommy2St

            Not quite sure what all of the fascination is with Orakpo when both he and Cole have had fairly similar years.

            Having asked that, I think many overlook the fact that Orakpo played in the same system, under the same DC and at the same position for years, while this is the 3rd system and 3rd DC for Cole. This year being a totally new system for Cole, 3-4, and at the position of OLB, which he has never played in his NFL career.

            Cole set the edge and excelled at run defense all season long.

            Cole dropped back into pass coverage on 24-25% of snaps played.

            Orakpo dropped back into pass coverage on 13% of snaps played.

            Both came on in the 2nd half of the season in regards to their sacks.

            So, is it fascination with the name, Orakpo? Or, is it that many are ready to move on from Trent Cole and make change despite the facts?

            Do we need to upgrade at the OLB position? Absolutely!

            BUT, does anyone in their right mind think the Eagles are going to just walk away from Trent Cole, and pay him 4-5 million dollars in guaranteed money to play for another team? Really? I mean…REALLY???

            This isn’t Monopoly. We are talking about REAL money here. Would you do it if it were YOUR money? I think not.

            It’s unbelievable how easy it is to spend other peoples money, isn’t it?

            .

          • NickS1

            Spending other people’s money is the beauty of being a GM! We paid Nnamdi 4mil to leave, however, the contract details were far different and we couldn’t come to a number he thought was fair, rest is history. Cole’s here through ’14, gone next off season. I think people realize he’s declining, regardless of how well he played the rush. He’s here another year, though. Graham likely is, too…. And, yes, everyone likes the name Orakpo. It’s fun to say :)

    • cliff henny

      both…too expensive and have some in-house guys that need contracts-kelce thornton cooper/mac. cant spend it all, ’15 off-season is going to sting. rolling over 12-15m isnt worst idea. either…yeah, orakpo plus pryor or byrd plus atta-guy, taking care of in-house i’m good. neither…no top tier safety hoping cole gets better at 32, no, this isnt an option.

      • anon

        Considering he changed positions as a vet i think he had a pretty good first year in the new system. I think he’ll only be better next year. Interior needs to improve.

        • cliff henny

          keeping cole means bringing in draft pick. meant that more of ignoring olb in general, that just cant happen. cole’s like celek avant herremanns, we all know what’s going to happen in a year or 2 at most, doesnt mean we dont respect the heck out of the guys. they’re not teachers, isnt a tenured position.

    • anon

      Draft comes first so FA decisions will look a lot clearer after the draft.

      • Tom W

        No its doesn/t FA does.

    • Tom W

      I like shiny new toys too but they don’t come cheap and sometimes they don’t buy-in and screw up team chemistry.

      Why would Orapko come cheap at all ????? He is the only good young edge rusher available in free agency. He is going to get paid … 8-10 mil a year for 5 yrs by a team like the raiders who have 60 mil to blow.

      ALso, why would skins ever let him go … they can always franchise him.

      • JofreyRice

        Where did I say he would come cheap? Looking at the post, and I don’t see it. I also mentioned in another post that it was pretty unlikely he even hits free agency.

        Take a look at 3 of the 4 teams that played in the divisional round, they all have significant roles filled by “shiny new toys”, as you call them. You have to be creative in filling out the 53 man roster. The “winners are built through the draft” mantra is worn out and inaccurate. Of course chemistry is a consideration, but it’s not the only one.

        As far as cap room, the Eagles are rolling over what 18 mil into next year’s cap. And they can always re-arrange things to free up even more loot; honestly, I don’t get into the cap stuff that much because I have the ultimate confidence the organization has it covered. They certainly have the cap acumen to make two big ticket signings–the 2011 free agency frenzy illustrates that. Re-signing Kelce, Thornton, Coop or Mac, are not going to break the bank. A 3-4 run defender, a center, and a guy coming off an ACL injury or one with questionable production outside of the system.

        • Tom W

          gotta look 2 yrs down the road not this year. Foles, Cox, Boykin, Kendricks, Kelce, Cooper, Thornton, maybe Curry, maybe Brown, all will have new contracts up. bad precedent and financial problem comes to boil if you spend 50 mil guaranteed on byrd and orapko.

          • JofreyRice

            I think you guys are worrying for nothing. Big money guys will be turned over, or restructured to much smaller numbers between now and then–it’s not a static situation: Peters, Herremans, Cole, Graham, Celek, Avant, Ryans, Cary Williams, etc. When have the Eagles ever been in a bind, financially? There really wasn’t even a whiff of trouble after doling out 40 million in guaranteed money to the FA class in 2011.

          • Tom W

            most of those deals in 2011 were one year deals we could get out off very easily and be back in cap friendly position in a year except for nnamdi. I remember rapaport was jocking us so bad because all the deals were team friendly mainly bc the lockout year there was double amount of free agents and less money to go around. basically the perfect storm for banner. only reason he and howie did it bc they had clean hands financially the next year.
            So the 50 mil guaranteed it will cost for these two, is different than the 40 mil we threw around for 4-6 guys. plus its just two guys — if one of the two gets hurt or is a bust, etc .. we are screwed.
            You do make a good point though … we are probably overstating it …i do think it makes negotiations w your drafted players more difficult later on … meaning they want market value and we want team friendly and the player responds hey you just paid orapko over market a year before and I bled for this team for 4 years. Same thing really made banner look like a dick at the end of his reign w guys like damon moore and lito. they wouldn’t take team friendly deals a year or two early and banner/reid ended up sitting them and playing others.

  • Will

    If they go FA for an OLB Michael Bennett might fall in the mid-Level player range who is a proven commodity in the NFL. At 6’4″ 275 lbs. and 28 years old might be worth a real good look….

    • anon

      Anything coming out of Seattle would be expensive.

      • Will

        Bennett played 2013 1 year deal for 5 million….not overly expensive…

        • Tom W

          Word was his agent overplayed the market and he got stuck taking a one year deal to re-enter free agency this year and get his longterm big second contract. Won’t come cheap.

          More importantly he is more of a 3-4 d end like thornton or nickel dtackle like curry. Not a 3-4 olb.

          • Joe L

            He also had a torn rotator cuff going into the offseason that worried people.

  • morgan c

    Orakpo is overrated. I don’t want any part of an injury-prone inconsistent player, who has never had a dominant season… not to mention, one that will command a gigantic salary and term commitment. This type of signing would make very little sense to me.

    • anon

      T. Cole and Orakbo had similar seasons sack wise, T. Cole is better against the run. Why pay top dollar for that?

    • Joe

      Orakpo missed a season with a torn pec. Injuries happen. He’s not “injury prone”.

  • Sean

    Sheridan makes a great point. I think the disservice to the players outweighs any competitive advantage regarding injury disclosure to the public. The 2 teams playing in the Super Bowl are both VERY forthcoming with injury statuses and news of their players. All franchises should take note of the transparency they display when it comes to this. Hopefully the Eagles will become less secretive.

    • peteike

      yup but I also get why they would hide those facts so the opposing team cant exploit that player on the field. Problem is if the player shouldnt be playing in the first place. This is an incredible read from Nate Jacksons book on NFL injuries and how they are handled, just a small excerpt from his book.

      http://deadspin.com/my-injury-file-how-i-shot-smoked-and-screwed-my-way-1482106392

      • Sean

        Purchased that book for my Dad for Christmas… Currently waiting for him to start it, but I definitely want to read it after he’s done.

        • peteike

          ya after reading a few of the excerpts I think Im gonna get it myself and read it, seems really good and got great reviews.

  • MoreRecentTimes

    This is where you must be thankful for The Tom’s. Gamble and Donahue add respectability and purpose to the front office. Teams like the 49ers aren’t the destination of high priced FAs, they’re the point of origin. The best teams not only find good players in the draft, they retain them for years to come. Thats where this team is hopefully headed.Since ’12 the draft success of this team has improved. Ideally I’d prefer to let the skins commit the big money while we do our homework and find similar production in a 2nd rd pick. We have a QB to resign who will command a $130M plus salary in 2yrs. Look around at teams already paying that kinda dough to QBs, NYG, NE, SD, PITT, BALT, DET, DAL, you have to be savvy to give that percentage (around 1/6) of your cap to one player and still field a complete team. Decisions like signing an Orakpo vs. drafting one are what that success is based on. #forsight

  • Weapon Y

    Pay Orakpo what he’s worth. Not a penny more. If we can get a younger, more explosive version of Trent Cole for a reasonable price without using a draft pick, I’m in favor. But he’s not worth overpaying for.