- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 28, 2009

There’s a good chance that when the Washington Redskins open training camp Thursday, first-round pick Brian Orakpo will be a holdout.

Orakpo, whom the team selected 13th in April’s draft, certainly won’t be the only first-rounder missing out on the start of camp. Only four of the 32 first-round selections have agreed to contracts, two of them being quarterbacks: Lions No. 1 pick Matthew Stafford and Jets No. 5 pick Mark Sanchez.

And while the Redskins remain hopeful Orakpo will be signed when camp begins, events during Dan Snyder’s decade of ownership seem to suggest otherwise. Only once this decade has the team inked its first-rounder in time for camp: Sean Taylor in 2004.

The difference between Orakpo and his predecessors is that the former Texas standout defensive end is moving to linebacker and can’t afford to miss many practices. And he is expected to start immediately.

Two longtime NFL observers disagreed slightly on whether the number of unsigned top picks is especially high this year. While camps and the season open a week later this year, teams are also seemingly more conscious of the bottom line in advance of collective bargaining negotiations between the league and the players association.

Jeremy Jarmon, whom Washington chose in the third round of the supplemental draft July 16, also remains unsigned. But the Redskins expect the former Kentucky defensive end to be under contract when camp starts.

In 2000, offensive lineman Chris Samuels missed a day of camp and linebacker LaVar Arrington missed six days. A year later, Rod Gardner staged a four-day holdout.

Quarterback Patrick Ramsey, the last pick of the first round in 2002, was unsigned for 16 days of camp, the longest holdout by a Redskins player since veteran defensive tackle Sean Gilbert skipped the entire 1997 season.

Cornerback Carlos Rogers (No. 9 pick) missed two days in 2005; fellow first-rounder Jason Campbell (No. 25) missed one day. Safety LaRon Landry didn’t sign in 2007 until he had missed the first four days of camp.

The Redskins helped avoid holdouts by trading their first-round picks in 2003, 2006 and 2008.

Note - The Redskins waived fullback Jonathan Evans.

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