LB says he's 100 percent after series of injuries
Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo isn't worried about his future in Washington, nor is he concerned about his pectoral muscle. And the pec could be tied to any extended stay in Washington.
Orakpo, who missed the final 15 games last season after tearing his left pec, said he's 100 percent and should be ready to participate in organized team activities that start May 20. He also said he's feeling much different recovering from this injury than he did a year ago when coming back from a similar issue.
But a big difference, Orakpo said, is that he did not tear the same ligament in his pec. It's still the same arm and he's now torn two ligaments. Still, he sees a silver lining.
"It feels differently because I'm not having any aches, I'm not having any pains, I'm not having any discomfort," said Orakpo, speaking before his golf tournament to benefit the Leukemia Lymphoma Society at Trump National. "That's the great thing about it. A lot of times when you come back from a severe injury, you can have some setbacks, some discomfort. But you try to play through it. This time around it's been beneficial to me as far as not feeling anything."
Orakpo, a two-time Pro Bowler, called both freak accidents. He said he felt discomfort throughout last offseason and again during training camp even before hurting it in a preseason game vs. Chicago. Orakpo missed only one game in his first three seasons.
"Maybe I was overcompensating from the first time I hurt it," Orakpo said. "But I'm good, man. I couldn't be any healthier. ... I'm not concerned about health. Health has never been an issue before I had this pec injury. I'm not gonna go into this season [thinking], 'Hopefully I can get through 16 games.' I've been doing that since I've been here."
The next question is: How long will he remain here? Orakpo is entering the final year of his contract and said there haven't yet been any discussions. However, there's enough time before training camp that they could still get something done. A deal could help them free up extra cap space by lowering his salary cap number this season (it's currently $5.1 million) and keeping him around for a while.
"That's something that's on the back of my mind right now," he said. "It's hard to discuss. We know what's at stake, coaches know what I mean to this organization. That shouldn't be a problem once it's all said and done. Obviously the cap is an issue -- is a big issue -- with us right now, so it's something we have to put on the backburner and move forward."
But it's clear that Orakpo, a first-round pick in 2009, wants to stay here.
"I would love to be a Redskin for life," he said. "That's my goal. When I talked to Mr. Snyder, he said that's his goal. Coach Shanahan said that's his goal. As long as both sides take care of our business, that shouldn't be a problem."
The Redskins will begin training camp on July 25 and run until Aug. 16. There will be 17 days open to the public, with Fan Appreciation Day on Aug. 3. The camp will be held in Richmond.