Washington smart to extend Ryan Kerrigan
When the Washington Redskins allowed Brian Orakpo to leave in free agency this offseason, it was clear that they viewed Ryan Kerrigan as their top pass-rusher of the future – and they confirmed that last week by signing Kerrigan to a five-year extension worth just shy of $60 million.
Kerrigan has flourished as a pass rusher in the NFL and is coming off of the best season of his pro career as both a pass rusher (+19.9 grade) and a run defender (-3.3) in 2014. Kerrigan racked up a career-best 73 pressures last season, including a 10-pressure performance against the Eagles in Week 16 in which he played all 91 snaps to help Washington get its first win in eight games.
Kerrigan is not a perfectly rounded edge defender, as his run defense is slightly below average, but his production as a pass-rusher has been a rare bright spot in a defense that has struggled mightily in recent seasons. Washington fans and coaches alike will hope that Kerrigan’s consistent production (50 pressures every season of his career) provides a strong foundation along with offseason acquisitions Terrance Knighton and Stephen Paea to greatly improve the defense in 2015.