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Ryan Kerrigan signs with Philadelphia Eagles

As the weeks of free company with Ryan Kerrigan going unsigned dragged on, a hopeful query made the rounds amongst Washington followers: Does a scarcity of curiosity elsewhere open the door for the veteran’s potential return to the Washington Football Team?

The reply got here Monday, and it has to sting for native followers.

The longtime face of the Washington protection is now a Philadelphia Eagle.

Kerrigan introduced on social media that he’ll depart Washington for the group’s hated NFC East rival.

The signing got here after Kerrigan posted a goodbye to Washington on his Instagram Sunday night time.

Washington drafted Kerrigan No. 16 total within the 2011 draft out of Purdue, and the 32-year-old turned one of many franchise’s hottest stars. Stuck on largely dropping groups, Kerrigan nonetheless discovered methods to make an influence — the four-time Pro Bowler tallied 95½ sacks, breaking Dexter Manley’s franchise file final fall. He additionally was reliably sturdy, as soon as holding the NFL’s longest energetic iron man streak of 139 video games.

But the veteran turned a free agent in March, and now he’ll be a part of the likes of Sonny Jurgensen, Brian Mitchell and different notable Washington alumni to play for each groups. 

“I know I probably wasn’t your favorite player over the past decade, but Philadelphia Eagles fans I’m fired up to be playing for you guys now!” Kerrigan wrote on Instagram.

Over the course of his 10-year profession in Washington, Kerrigan was a key a part of the protection. But because the group drafted younger, proficient edge rushers like Montez Sweat and Chase Young, Kerrigan’s time on the sphere waned. He performed all 16 video games however began solely as soon as in 2020. He nonetheless managed 5.5 sacks and one fumble restoration regardless of collaborating in 38% of the defensive snaps — the bottom of his profession.

Kerrigan’s free-agent market appeared gradual to develop. Kerrigan went unsigned within the first wave of offers, and there have been rumors that Washington would have an interest within the go rusher’s return because the scenario lingered. General supervisor Martin Mayhew, too, didn’t dismiss the concept when requested about Kerrigan’s standing after the draft. 

Kerrigan, although, advised ESPN on Monday that the group knowledgeable him at first of free company that the membership was transferring on. Kerrigan additionally wished an even bigger position — and the Eagles may present a greater alternative for the go rusher to see the sphere extra typically. 

“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,” Kerrigan wrote. “I hope you had as much fun watching me as I did playing for you. Thank you, Washington, for everything.”

The Eagles introduced Kerrigan’s contract is a one-year deal. 

Kerrigan is the most recent amongst a gaggle of outstanding gamers who’ve made the inter-divisional leap later of their careers — and the outcomes have been combined. Washington added huge receiver DeSean Jackson in 2014 after three Pro Bowl seasons in Philadelphia. Jackson, who returned to the Eagles for 2 seasons earlier than being lower this offseason and signing with the Rams, posted two 1,000-yard receiving seasons for the Football Team in 2014 and 2016.

Washington traded for Donovan McNabb in 2010 — a transfer for a longtime quarterback that became a bust. McNabb performed 13 video games, throwing 14 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, earlier than he joined the Vikings in one other commerce the next offseason.

And going the opposite manner, Mitchell, operating again and return man, left Washington after 10 seasons to hitch Philadelphia, the place he performed one other three seasons. Mitchell’s affect for the Eagles was largely within the return recreation; he averaged 4.1 dashing yards per recreation, though he averaged 11.7 yards per punt return and ran two punts and kickoffs again for touchdowns.

There’s additionally David Akers, a kicker who’s a member of the Eagles’ Hall of Fame. Before he established his six-time Pro Bowl profession in Philadelphia, he performed one recreation for Washington in 1998. He made each of his further factors however missed each area targets — a 48- and 49-yard strive — within the 24-14 loss to Seattle.

Kerrigan’s exit from Washington prompted an outpouring of appreciation for the defensive finish on social media from former teammates and followers. Young commented beneath Kerrigan’s Instagram put up, as did Jonathan Allen, Pierre Garcon and Brian Orakpo.

Young advised Kerrigan he appreciated him. During his rookie yr, Young often praised Kerrigan for mentoring him and the influence that he had within the locker room.

“R.K. didn’t have to open his arms to help me throughout the whole season,” Young stated in January. “You hear them stories where that doesn’t happen all the time. … That’s big bro. I’ve got nothing but love for R.K. He knows that.”

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