Having reported earlier that it’s being reported that Bills safety Jairus Byrd is going to hit the open market, it looks like another top defensive free agent could be joining him. Jason La Canfora from CBS Sports reports:
[Washington] are unlikely to tag Brian Orakpo, according to league sources.
The 27-year old former first round pick is regarded by most experts as the top unrestricted free agent pass rusher. Other than in 2012, when his season was cut short by a torn pectoral muscle, Orakpo’s pass rushing numbers have been extremely consistent with at least eight sacks in each of his other four seasons and 38.5 in total over those four years. He had 10 sacks and his first career touchdown in 2013. He’s not bad against the run, either.
Bent, TheJetsBlog.comI outlined my thoughts on which needs I’d like to see the Jets allocate their resources to in the offseason in the Jairus Byrd post earlier. Pass rusher was not one of them. However, if the Jets were going to make a big money move in free agency, I’d be more on board with upgrading the pass rush rather than the free safety position. Orakpo would definitely be an immediate upgrade over Calvin Pace, not just in 2014 but also over the next five years or so.
If Byrd is going to command close to $10m, you can expect Orakpo to command at least a few million more than him. I’m not sure the Jets will target Orakpo, who could still get an extension from Washington although La Canfora has described the sides as “not close”. However, if the Jets did manage to land Orakpo, that would give them a front seven that would terrify offenses.
Let us know if you agree or disagree in the comments!