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Ryan Kerrigan has been the definition of consistency for the Washington Redskins’ defense since he was taken 16th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft.
On Wednesday, Kerrigan was rewarded for his efforts, as the team announced it had reached a multi-year contract extension with the Purdue product, who is coming off a career year in 2014.
Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.
“To get to a moment like this where you get a chance to play out the rest of your NFL career with the team that drafted you, the team that you love, the city that you love, it hasn’t really hit me yet, but it’s an awesome feeling,” Kerrigan said. “Now it’s my job to go reward the Redskins for the faith they put in me by playing well this year, and for the rest of my career.”
Kerrigan in 2014 turned in one of the best performances by a pass rusher in team history, posting a career-best 13.5 sacks, tying Ken Harvey (1994) and Dexter Manley (1984) for the fourth-most sacks by a member of the Redskins since sacks became official in 1982.
Kerrigan also had five forced fumbles in 2014, tying for the league lead and becoming the first member of the Redskins to finish atop league rankings in that category since LaVar Arrington’s NFL-best six forced fumbles in 2003.
Kerrigan – a Pro Bowl selection in 2012 – enters the 2015 season with 38 sacks, already ranking sixth in team history in that category. With six more sacks, Kerrigan would move into sole possession of third place, passing Orakpo (40), Harvey (41.5) and Monte Coleman (43.5). Manley (91) and Charles Mann (82) top the list.
The Muncie, Ind., native – who was an All-American defensive end at Purdue before being transitioned to an outside linebacker in Washington – said he’s appreciative of the Redskins for allowing him to continue his career where it started.
“I think more than anything it’s awesome, the vote of confidence that the Redskins have put in me,” Kerrigan said. “Being drafted a couple of years back, defensive end who is becoming an outside linebacker, you’re never sure how things are going to turn out for you.”
He said he can’t wait to show the passionate Redskins fanbase exactly what this opportunity means to him starting Week 1, when the team takes on the Miami Dolphins in their 2015 season opener at FedExField.
“We want to win, and I know that’s a simple thing to say, but it is,” Kerrigan said. “I know the fans know how it was back in 2012 when we won the division, and that’s got to be first and foremost our goal for this year and for the years to come is to get back to the top of the division and then make sure that the game we’re playing in December, that they’re counting something towards the standings and that we’re a viable contender in the NFC.”
Kerrigan and the Redskins kick off 2015 training camp at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va., on Thursday.