If you live in Washington, D.C. and like the Washington Redskins, then you probably know of star linebacker Brian Orakpo. If you know him, then you should want him to stay a Redskin.
The 2013 NFL season will be the last year of Orakpo’s rookie contract. Drafted 13th overall in the 2009 NFL Draft, Orakpo was signed to a $20 million contract with $12.1 million guaranteed. Coming into the Redskins franchise, he was expected to add pressure on passing downs as a defensive end and be a strong outside linebacker on rushing plays.
After his first two seasons with the Redskins, in which he made the Pro Bowl both times and was the first Redskin rookie defensive player to make the Pro Bowl squad, it seemed like Washington fans were starting to believe in Orakpo. But where did he stand on being a Redskin?
At first, Orakpo had no commitment to the Redskins. When he signed with them, a day before his 23rd birthday, he commented, “Got the deal done. My pocket’s a little bigger. On your birthday, it’s always a good thing.” It seems obvious he was at first concerned with his professional career and his family’s well-being. Further, being a Texas native, he got a startling culture clash when he moved to the politically motivated greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It is safe to say that he was in need of some adjustment.
According to Orakpo, that adjustment came after a season ending injury occurred in week two of the 2012 season. While on injured reserve, Orakpo was able to step back from football and see first hand what D.C. is all about.
He told the team website, “At first, I hated the cold weather and everything else that comes with it. But I love it. It’s growing on me a lot, the DMV environment, the people are terrific, and it’s been a blast living out here.”
Well, that’s great and all, but is it just for show? No, Orakpo is serious and it can be proven by his statements about not returning to Texas during the offseason. “Part of the reason is my daughter is a newborn. It’s kind of hard to travel with a newborn, so I stuck around this time.” This gave him a chance to really relax with his family in the D.C. area and he later stated, “My family loves it, and we are thinking about making it a long-term deal when I’m done.”
Of course, the Redskins will wait to see if Orakpo can stay healthy before extending any contract. However, if it was up to Orakpo, it seems as if he will stay a Redskin.