PHILADELPHIA – One minute, Ryan Kerrigan is saying goodbye to Washington. In the next minute, he is saying hello to Philadelphia.
The leading quarterback sacker in Washington Football team history with 95.5 is joining the Eagles after agreeing to a reported one-year deal worth up to $3.5 million with them on Monday morning.
“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’ve been some of the best of my life,” wrote Kerrigan. “I hope you had as much fun watching me as I did playing for you. Thank you, Washington, for everything.”
It was never fun for Eagles fans to watch Kerrigan play against them.
Right tackle Lane Johnson once said that Kerrigan, who was taken 16th overall in 2011 out of Purdue, was one of the most difficult pass rushers he has had to block.
In 19 career games against the Eagles, Kerrigan had 13.5 sacks with 24 quarterback hits, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and an interception return for a touchdown.
He has also been a terror within the NFC East, collecting 13.5 sacks against the Cowboys and 13 against the Giants.
Kerrigan also reportedly met with the Steelers and Bengals before agreeing to join the Ealges.
While still ruminating over what it meant to have such an accomplished player set free and what it could mean for the Eagles, the deal was announced. Terms of the contract have not yet been learned, though it is believed to be only a one-year deal.
In the short time between the good-bye and hello, my thinking was it doesn’t make sense for him to come to the Eagles for a few reasons:
- He’s 32 on a team that is retooling with youth.
- He’s too expensive.
- He told the Washington Post in January he wanted to start, that he did not want to be a role player or a reserve.
- He won’t come to a team that appears to be in a rebuild.
Yet here he is.
Clearly, the Eagles aren’t surrendering to the low expectations being set for them in 2021.
Perhaps the signing of Kerrigan can be equated to their signing of veteran pass rusher Chris Long in 2017.
What does it mean?
Well, the Eagles under defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon could be in the market for a stand-up edge rusher, as discussed on the most recent episode of my Eagles Unfiltered podcast.
Kerrigan is a threat from that position.
Despite being a backup the past two years, as Washington newcomers Montez Sweat and Chase Young were quickly phased in, Kerrigan still had 11 sacks over the past two years while his snap count dwindled to 38 percent.
In 2017 and 2018, Kerrigan had back-to-back 13-sack seasons.
"I still feel really good," he told the Washington Post in January. "Maybe one of the silver linings with playing a lot less snaps this year was my body doesn't really feel too beat up right now. So, hopefully, that'll help me maybe add a year or two here on the back end of my career."
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.