Eagles sign Washington’s all-time sack leader, Ryan Kerrigan

Posted on May 17, 2021

Defensive end Ryan Kerrigan says goodbye to the Washington Football Team.

Today, the 32-year-old signed a one-year deal with Philadelphia, ending a 10-year era with the Eagles’ rival.


Kerrigan was selected in the first round (16th overall) by Washington in the 2011 NFL Draft. He started all 16 games recording 63 combined tackles, 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, one interception, and one touchdown in his rookie season.

Since then, he’s kept the momentum rolling despite how the remainder of his team performed. In ten years, Kerrigan is the franchise’s all-time leader in sacks with 95.5. The four-time Pro Bowler also has 454 combined tackles, 330 solo tackles.

In 2020, he started in one game after defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio implemented a 4-3 defense. Kerrigan played 38% of the team’s defensive snaps. Though it was a career-low, he still pulled out 5.5 sacks and five tackles for a loss. Pro Football Focus ranked him 40th (out of 125 edge rushers).

Earlier this offseason, Kerrigan stated that he wished to keep playing, but not in the rotational role he held in Washington. “I definitely want to be a starter. I mean, I think any player would say that. I don’t think anybody just wants to settle for being a role player or a reserve player”.

Though Kerrigan envisioned playing his entire career in the nation’s capital, he will now transition to Philadelphia, who also runs a 4-3 defense.


As of this [Monday] morning, the Philadelphia Eagles announced that Ryan Kerrigan would be making his way up north after signing with the team. The defensive end will sport a new jersey come the 2021 season for the first time in his career.

Kerrigan himself took to social media to announce the news. “I’ll never be able to sum up what these past 10 years have meant to me in an Instagram post, but what I can say is that they have been some of the best of my life. I hope you had as much fun watching me as I did playing for you. Thank you, Washington, for everything”. In a separate post, he wrote, “I know I probably wasn’t your favorite player over the past decade, but Eagles fans, I’m fired up to be playing for you guys now! LFG!!!”

Earlier this year, Kerrigan said that there was a silver lining to playing fewer snaps last season — his body wasn’t too beat up, adding another year or two to his career. Here in Philly, we hope the same.

He will now join Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, and Josh Sweat, who are locked into the roster for The Birds. Tarron Jackson, drafted No. 191 overall, remains a toss-up. Joe Ostman, Matt Leo, and JaQuan Bailey will also compete for a spot. The defense will be led by new defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon.

Though Philadelphia was in a mindset to add younger players to the team, Kerrigan can provide mentorship while contributing to the team’s protection.

NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that Kerrigan also received interest from the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. However, he wanted to stay in the NFC East.

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Alicia Andaloro

Alicia was born and raised in Philadelphia, becoming an avid Eagles fan as a child. She graduated from Penn State University and now works in the medical field. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and baking.

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