Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo ended the suspense. He signed his one-year franchise tag tender Thursday morning. Orakpo, coming off a 10-sack season, will receive $11.45 million this season.
Whether or not he receives a long-term deal remains to be seen. There's division within the Redskins organization on Orakpo's long-term worth.
"I wouldn't mind letting him play out this franchise tag and see what happens," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Wednesday. "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.
Orakpo had a career-high of 11 sacks in his rookie season, but he's gotten between 8.5-11 sacks in each of his four full seasons. The Redskins have vowed to use him even more as a pass-rusher this season. They also hope the presence of interior pass-rusher Jason Hatcher takes pressure off Orakpo and fellow outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan.