Why the Redskins should consider releasing Ryan Kerrigan
By Tim Meek
What is leadership worth?
As it stands, Kerrigan is set to earn $11.7 million, all non-guaranteed. That means cutting or trading him would save the Redskins his full salary against the cap. But pundits will say Kerrigan with a lesser contract would still have value as a situational rusher and for the leadership he provides for younger players.
So what is that leadership worth? It’s hard to quantify, certainly from a fan’s perspective. And what is situational production worth? Even with a restructured cap number, it’s hard to imagine a part-time player reaching production equal to the contract value that Kerrigan will command.
Kerrigan has been the epitome of an iron-man over his career. But in 2019, he missed his first games due to injury. The season also saw a decline in production overall, including Kerrigan’s lowest number of sacks, pressures and tackles in his career.
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Was 2019 an anomaly? That’s the tough question for Rivera and his staff. The NFL is a young man’s game, especially for players in the trenches. Even for players who take care of their body like Kerrigan, age always catches up and it often happens rapidly when it does.
Most analysts and football people will say you can never have enough pass rushers. So let’s speculate the Redskins draft and say they select Chase Young. That will inevitably move Kerrigan to the bench. Okay, so Kerrigan becomes a situational rusher, right? That’s probably not the worst thing to happen and he might even be an asset for 2020.
But will the Redskins finally have a vision that extends beyond the current season? Let’s face it, this team is not winning the Super Bowl in 2020. My opinion is that 2020 is about building a foundation of young players and evaluating players that may be part of the future.
That leads us to Ryan Anderson. He’s younger, stronger and a much cheaper option. Keeping Kerrigan on the roster will certainly take opportunities away from Anderson. Sometimes, guys like Anderson simply need a chance to prove themselves. And Anderson was good last year when he seen action late in the season. Either way, the Redskins need a very real look at what this guy can bring. It’s better to know whether Ryan Anderson will be part of the future the next four or five years, and playing is the only way to know.