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Washington should bring back Ryan Kerrigan — soon

Washington Football Wire logo Washington Football Wire 4/18/2021 Bryan Manning
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The Washington Football Team already has, arguably, the best pair of starting defensive ends in the NFL. Chase Young and Montez Sweat, entering their second and third NFL seasons, respectively, combined for 16.5 sacks and 22 tackles for loss in 2020.

But, what happens if Young or Sweat are injured for any length of time?

James Smith-Williams, a second-year defensive end from N.C. State showed promise at times in 2020. As a seventh-round pick, he is also cheap. He’s certainly in the plans.

Also on the roster is another seventh-round pick from 2020 in Casey Toohill. Toohill was chosen by the Philadelphia Eagles last year and was claimed by Washington on waivers in October.

That’s it.

That’s why Washington’s all-time sack leader, Ryan Kerrigan, should be brought back.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Washington is certainly interested in bringing Kerrigan back.

The 32-year-old Kerrigan tested free agency as he felt he could still start somewhere. While interest in Kerrigan has been tepid, he recently visited the Cincinnati Bengals, who need pass-rush help.

The biggest reason Kerrigan hasn’t signed with anyone is money and age. Most teams needing pass-rush help will likely look at the top free agents coming off their first contract and, if they can’t land them, will look toward the NFL draft.

That’s why Kerrigan and Justin Houston are still on the market. Both players are still good and can help teams. Both will likely sign with someone after the NFL draft when teams reassess their needs.

Bringing back Kerrigan should be a no-brainer for head coach Ron Rivera and his team. He adds depth to an important unit and is considered a strong leader. Young is especially fond of Kerrigan.

“RK didn’t have to open his arms to me and help me throughout the whole season,” Young said, per Peter Hailey of NBC Sports Washington. “You hear them stories where that doesn’t happen all the time. I always thank RK for doing that and always thank him for the type of man that he is.”

That’s quite the endorsement.

Kerrigan returning to the franchise where he has spent all 10 years of his NFL career makes sense for everyone. Washington currently has over $18 million in remaining cap space for 2021, per Over the Cap, so money should not be the deciding factor in retaining Kerrigan as a backup.

Once the 2021 NFL draft concludes, Kerrigan and Washington should come together and strike a deal that ensures WFT’s all-time sack leader retires in the burgundy & gold.


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