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Brian Orakpo: ‘I don’t have to prove anything to nobody’

- The Washington Times - Monday, April 28, 2014

Brian Orakpo said Monday he is still seeking a long-term contract with the Redskins and doesn't believe he has to prove himself as a top-caliber player in order to get it.

The outside linebacker, speaking at his annual Brian Orakpo Leukemia Golf Classic at Trump National Golf Club, bristled at the notion that he would have to earn a new contract this coming season, which he will play under the franchise designation.

"I signed my franchise tag," Orakpo said. "I'm here. [I'll] play it out. Whatever the case may be, I still want something done long-term, but I'm not gonna be in a situation where I'm holding out and all the distractions that come with it. I don't have to prove anything to nobody – that goes to fans, that goes to media, anybody. I'm well-proven in this league, and if it doesn't work out, then it doesn't work out. I don't have to prove anything to anybody."

New Redskins coach Jay Gruden told reporters at the owners' meetings in Orlando last month that he wouldn't be opposed to evaluating Orakpo on the coming season and then making a decision on a long-term contract after it ends.

Orakpo, who is entering his sixth season, signed his one-year, $11.455 million franchise tender on March 27 because he didn't want the contract issues to continually be a distraction.

"Y'all guys are tired with that from last year," Orakpo said. "I know I am, so, you know, I want to be on the positive side and be here for my teammates. That's the most important thing."

The Redskins also face another immediate decision on one of their starting outside linebackers, with the team holding an option due May 3 to extend the contract of Ryan Kerrigan through the 2015 season.

Kerrigan, taken with the No. 16 overall pick in the draft in 2011, signed a four-year contract, but players taken in the first round that year are subject to a provision that allows the team to expand that deal to cover a fifth year.

General manager Bruce Allen said he hasn't made a decision to do so because of the Saturday deadline, but said the team will "have an announcement soon."

"Hopefully, they do it, because I really like it here and I like the team and I like the area, so hopefully, they do it," Kerrigan said. "But, if they don't, I signed a four-year contract. I didn't sign a five-year contract, so I've got to honor that contract and play the fourth year just like I would, whether I get a fifth year or not."

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