Should Redskins Consider Trading Brian Orakpo
- Updated: January 23, 2013
As we head into the offseason many questions arise on what players should be kept for the future of the team, as well as those who should be traded. Is linebacker Brian Orakpo a candidate for the trade block?
Since joining the Redskins in 2009, Brian Orakpo has made his presence felt on the field by attributing 29.5 sacks to the team. Even after missing the majority of the 2012 season his 29.5 sacks make up 20% of the Redskins 142 total within that time (including the 32 sacks in 2012).
One thing you cannot deny is Orakpo’s ability to get to the quarterback and produce sacks or force errors due to his pressure. He after all is a two-time Pro Bowler (09,10) because of his pass rush.
The question however raises is his willingness to get better, especially in NFC East games in which he has been rather ineffective. In 18 starts against the NFC East, Brian Orakpo has managed to only combine for 3.5 sacks, which in his opinion is fine because “he gets sacks in the other 10 games.”
Most certainly that is true, as 26 of those sacks have come in the games outside of the division. Perhaps part of the problem is his ability to only rush the quarterback with his bull rush style, rather than working on other ways to get around linemen. Orakpo was said to have worked on that this past offseason, but during the pre-season and regular season, it didn’t appear as if he had changed.
More importantly, his pass coverage which should have been worked on more, being the linebacker has much more responsibilities in the 3-4 than the 4-3, seemed to have only decreased in effectiveness.
When you compare him to a backup linebacker like Rob Jackson, he looks to be outperformed by what should be lesser talent. Jackson certainly doesn’t have the pass rushing ability that Brian Orakpo has (4.5 sacks high in his career), but he has the coverage skill which Orakpo doesn’t.
Since taking over for Orakpo in Week 2, Rob Jackson has four interceptions, one of which went for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals, and another which won the division for the Redskins, Week 17 against the Dallas Cowboys.
The best game for Brian Orakpo would arguably be his four-sack performance against the JaMarcus Russell led Oakland Raiders in 2009.
Is Brian Orakpo finally starting to find his place in a 3-4 defense which he appeared to be struggling in? Or should the Washington Redskins consider using him as trade bait while he still is worth something?
Some argued in 2008 that Chris Cooley should have been traded due to his age and the injuries he was sustaining. The Redskins failed to do so and since then Cooley has been merely just a player on the bench. Orakpo, though not as old has begun to see the same injury bug bite him twice.
With teams in need of a pass rusher running the 4-3, should the Redskins look at taking advantage of them for a second round pick? The Dallas Cowboys could be a prime target with Monte Kiffin becoming the new defensive coordinator who runs a 4-3 scheme. If he runs that in Dallas, they could be a potential buyer.
The Redskins showed they could be a top five defense in the NFL without Brian Orakpo in 2012, will they get better with him in 2013? Or should they re-sign Rob Jackson to take his place?