Ryan Kerrigan bids farewell to Washington after 10 seasons originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Ryan Kerrigan remains a free agent, but it doesn't appear that the longtime Washington Football Team pass rusher will be coming back in 2021 to the only franchise he's ever known.
Kerrigan posted to Instagram on Sunday thanking Washington for everything for the past 10 years, all but confirming that he won't be coming back next season.
"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," he wrote.
A first-round pick in 2011, Kerrigan quickly became one of the best and most durable players on Washington's defense. Kerrigan started 139 consecutive games for Washington from 2011-2019 and was named to four Pro Bowls over that span.
In his 10 seasons with the Burgundy and Gold, Kerrigan has notched 95.5 career sacks — a franchise record that he broke this past fall. Since being drafted, only Chandler Jones, J.J. Watt and Justin Houston have brought down the quarterback more times than No. 91.
In 2020, following the draft choice of Chase Young, Kerrigan transitioned to a reserve role for the first time in his career. The 32-year-old played in all 16 games but started just one for Washington, yet still found ways to be productive while on the field.
However, after the season, Kerrigan stated that he still believes he can be a starter, which is an opportunity he won't have in Washington moving forward behind Young and Montez Sweat. Despite losing snaps to both Young and Sweat, Kerrigan served as an incredible mentor for the two young studs.
"RK didn’t have to open his arms to me and help me throughout the whole season," Young said in January. "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. ... We’re going to have this relationship forever. That’s big, bro. I’ve got nothing but love for RK."
Following the draft, head coach Ron Rivera and GM Martin Mayhew were asked about the potential of bringing Kerrigan back. They didn't rule it out, but it appears that the club will plan to give draft picks William Bradley-King, Shaka Toney and second-year pro James Smith-Williams the chance to earn the backup edge rusher spots first.
If this is it for Kerrigan in Washington, it's been quite a run.