Friend, No Foe: Birds Sign Nemesis Kerrigan To 1-Year Deal
When the Eagles didn't draft a cornerback on Day 1 or Day 2 of the NFL Draft, Howie Roseman said he would never apologize for bolstering the team's offensive and defensive lines in spite of the team's most glaring holes. And even though the Eagles still badly need to address depth at corner, the team's executive vice president of football operations continues to add value in the trenches. On Monday, former Washington Football Team outside linebacker/edge rusher Ryan Kerrigan announced on his Instagram account that he's signing with the Eagles. The team confirmed the move on its Twitter account, adding that it's a 1-year deal.
Kerrigan, an Eagles nemesis for a decade and four-time Pro Bowler, has 95.5 career sacks and 26 forced fumbles in 156 career games since being drafted in the first round of out Purdue, 16th overall, in 2011. The 6-foot-4, 265-pound veteran turns 33 in August. He has 13.5 career sacks against the Eagles are tied for his most against against team, the other being Dallas. He has 13 career sacks against the Giants, so he's pretty much tormented every NFC East team other than the one for which he played.
Kerrigan adds to an Eagles defensive end group that isn't very deep. He joins veteran Brandon Graham along with fifth-year pro Derek Barnett, fourth-year pro Josh Sweat and a group that also includes Joe Ostman, rookie Tarron Jackson, undrafted rookie JaQuan Bailey and Matt Leo. In 2021, the Eagles' defensive end picture will likely be Graham, Barnett, Kerrigan and Sweat logging most of the snaps unless injuries force personnel changes. Kerrigan, who has totaled 11 sacks over his past two years, saw his playing time diminish in that span as Washington used first-round picks in back-to-back seasons on edge rushers, using the second overall pick in last year's draft on defensive end Chase Young after using a first-rounder in 2019 on Mississippi State pass rusher Montez Sweat. Kerrigan played a career-low 38 percent of defensive snaps last year after dipping to 57 percent in 2019. He had 5.5 sacks last year despite playing all 16 games, starting one. In 2019, he collected 5.5 sacks in 12 games, starting all 12. From 2011 to 2018, Kerrigan never produced fewer than 7.5 sacks in a season and compiled four seasons of double-digit sacks, including a career-high of 13.5 in 2014 and 13 in both 2017 and 2018. He leaves Washington as the team's all-time leader in sacks and quarterback hits. On his Instagram post, Kerrigan offered a special message for Eagles fans:
– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the "Inside the Birds" podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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