The NFL Franchise Tag leave wiggle room for teams to workout a long term deal with a player who was slapped with the tag buy a certain date, but not all players are given long-term deals. Both defensive end Michael Johnson and safety Jairus Byrd were tagged by the Bengals and Bills, respectively, and both are now with the Buccaneers and Saints, respectively.
Washington slapped pass rusher Brian Orakpo with the tag this offseason and while the goal is to get him a long-term deal that assures he’s a part of the defense for the foreseeable future, new head coach Jay Gruden isn’t making it a priority.
“I wouldn’t mind letting him play out this franchise tag and see what happens,” Gruden said. “He’s a talented player. I think he can do a little better, we can ask more of him to where he could be more productive. … We have high hopes for Brian, and whether the deal gets done or not, we know he’ll be a big part of our success” in 2014.
This doesn’t mean a deal won’t for sure get done, as Gruden clearly seems optimistic about negotiations, but it’s far from a guarantee that Orakpo will be locked up long-term.
Washington can’t afford to bleed star players when they barely have any to begin with, and that’s leverage Orakpo may use on an owner who tends to overpay for things he wants.