- The Washington Times - Friday, July 31, 2009

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — The Washington Redskins have signed No. 1 draft pick Brian Orakpo who is expected to practice Friday.

The team reached the deal Thursday night with Orakpo, the No. 13 overall selection from the University of Texas.

The five-year deal ends Orakpo’s one-day holdout from training camp, which started Thursday at the team’s facility in Ashburn, Va.

Orakpo, 23, was the only Redskin from camp Thursday.

“This was more nerve-racking than actually being drafted,” the 6-foot-4, 260-pound linebacker said on the team’s Web site. “You really want to get in because you know your teammates are there working and you want to get in to get started to have a miraculous season.”

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Details of Orakpo’s contract were not immediately available.

Orakpo was primarily a defensive end at Texas, where he had 11 sacks last season, but the Redskins envision him as their starting strongside linebacker who can play end in pass-rushing situations.

First-round picks have been slow in signing across the NFL this year. Even so, Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache was not happy when Orakpo was a no-show for the two practices on the first day — especially considering the rookie will be learning a new position.

“He’s not getting better,” Blache said Thursday. “We are not getting better as a team. When a guy holds out doesn’t help him, doesn’t help the football team. The only person it benefits is the agent, so he can recruit people next year.”

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