Will Brian Orakpo Sign With The Houston Texans?
Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo spent his first six NFL seasons with the Washington Redskins. On Tuesday, March 10th he will be free to sign with any team he wishes, and he currently hinted that returning home would be something he could see happening.
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The pass rushing specialist was born in Houston, Texas. He went on to play high school football at Lamar and from there attended the University of Texas.
The former Longhorn was a standout defender and his talent led him to Washington, where he was the 13th player selected in the 2009 draft.
Brian has been a very good player since he entered the league, recording 11 sacks as a rookie. He stayed solid recording eight and a half sacks in 2010 and then nine the following season.
It’s what has happened for him since then that may raise a red flag when teams are considering a big pay day for the Texas product.
In 2012 Orakpo played in only two games after ending the year before tearing his left pectoral muscle. He only lasted two games that season before suffering the same injury.
“I’ve always been a weight room workout warrior type of guy” – Orakpo
The two injuries in two NFL seasons was frustrating, but the linebacker recovered nicely in 2013 by recording 60 tackles, 10 sacks and an interception he returned for a touchdown. After such a productive year the franchise tag was slapped on him, keeping him from hitting free agency last offseason.
Unfortunately for Brian he only made it through seven games, recording one half sack before an injury struck again. Once more, it was a pectoral tear ending his season early, this time on the right side. In total that is three times since 2011 he has torn a pectoral muscle, which may give most teams pause before brining him in.
Orakpo believes he may have found a way to limit the injuries that he has suffered thus far in his career.
"“I’ve totally thrown away my whole regiment is far as what I used to do,” he said, per Mike Jones of the Washington Post. “I’ve always been a weight room workout warrior type of guy. … I scratched all that. … Less weights. It’s all core work, bands. The problem I’ve been having, I finally realized is I’m so up-tight, upper body wise. I haven’t done a lot of stretching, a lot of the little muscles that you need.”"
Jones continues in his Washington post article to discuss how even though Orakpo has changed his routine, some teams may still shy away from a long deal for him. His belief is that contract offers may have lower base salaries with incentives that can raise his salary much higher if Orakpo performs well.
Normally I always believe it is best to steer clear of a player with an injury history. Usually such a trend doesn’t end as the player ages and takes on more hits in the league.
With that being said a low risk deal with a smaller base wouldn’t be the worst idea for the Houston Texans and Brian Orakpo. If he is given a one year contract that can possibly double based on playing time and stats recorded, Orakpo may be able to prove doubters wrong and work himself back into free agency next season, with much more to stand on in contract talks.
Often times when a player bets on himself with a one year deal he usually wins that bet. Having that guy in a Texans helmet, even if for only one year, would mean the Texans would win too.