Redskins

Quick Links

Gruden: Kerrigan getting 'disruption' but sacks not there yet

kerrigan-vs.-eagles-2.png

Gruden: Kerrigan getting 'disruption' but sacks not there yet

Ryan Kerrigan is not quite living up to the big contract extension he signed in the offseason but he is not performing as poorly as a simple look at his sack numbers would indicate.

Through four games, Kerrigan has 1.5 sacks. That puts him on pace for six for the season, not exactly the kind of production you want out of a player who signed a five-year, $57.5 million contract extension in July. Last year he had a career high 13.5 and the hope was that he would at least come close to that annually.

“I don’t know,” said Jay Gruden when asked about why Kerrigan’s sack numbers are lagging. “I think he’s still pretty effective in the running game and I still think he is playing very good at the position that he’s playing — outside backer and the defensive end in nickel. He hasn’t gotten the numbers that some other guys have around the league but I think he’s got the disruption and that’s half the battle as far as making the quarterback step up. Making the quarterback feel the rush is important, making him feel like he’s got to get it out, without having to hold the ball.”

It is true that there are a lot of players—54 to be exact—who have more sack than Kerrigan does this year. But Gruden also is correct when he says that he has been pretty good at getting disruption.

According to Pro Football Focus Kerrigan is 10th in the NFL among full-time 3-4 outside linebackers in terms of producing pass pressure with a pressure index of 10.4. To put that in context, DeMarcus Ware of the Broncos leads the NFL with an index of 17.5. That’s not bad but again not what anyone had in mind when Kerrigan signed his big deal.

Including, no doubt, Kerrigan.

“I promise you that Ryan wants more and we want more from Ryan,” said Gruden. “But to say that he’s disappointing is not the case. We’re absolutely happy with the effort that he plays with and what he brings to our football team, which is a lot.”

It is too early to panic over Kerrigan’s start. Last year he got rolling early when he racked up four sacks when he had a highly favorable matchup and score situation against the Jaguars. Kerrigan had his chances to do that against the Eagles but couldn’t quite seal the deal. That big sack game is probably coming and then everyone can relax and watch Kerrigan be the productive player he has been in the past. 

MORE REDSKINS: Gruden says Matt Jones has not lost his trust

Quick Links

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Costly cornerbacks, offseason blueprint

breeland_vs_az_usat.png
USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Costly cornerbacks, offseason blueprint

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 17, 25 days before NFL free agency starts.

The Redskin week that was

My weekly look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics on RealRedskins.com and NBCSportsWashington.com.

An offseason blueprint for the Redskins—Should the Redskins focus their free agency money on keeping their own? In addition to unrestricted free agents Zach Brown and Trent Murphy, they need to consider extensions for Brandon Scherff, Preston Smith, and Jamison Crowder. That could chew up a bunch of the approximately $31 million of cap space that they have. They may get some help on the market but most of their improvement should come from the draft and from within.

Redskins offseason will hit warp speed soon—With the exception of the Alex Smith trade, which actually hasn’t happened yet, there hasn’t been much going on with the Redskins. That is going to change soon, check out the post for the calendar and how the events matter for the Redskins.

No mixed messages from Alex Smith—In a radio interview, Alex Smith said that he was “jacked” to be a part of the Redskins. Now, the phrase often repeated here is that you shouldn’t listen to what they say, you should watch what they do. And the moment that he signs the reported four-year extension that he has negotiated with the team, a deal that likely would put him in Washington for the rest of his career, we will see his actions backing up his words. Then we will know.

What we know, and what we think, of the Su'a Cravens situation—This will be a true test of the acumen of the front office. It’s a very tricky situation. The Redskins have to decide if they want to keep Cravens. Should they decide to keep him, there will be a lot of smoothing over of ruffled feelings that would need to be done over and trust in Cravens would have to be restored. If they don’t want him around, they have to make it look like they are willing to go into the season with him in order to be able to trade him. Otherwise, teams may just wait for them to cut him and sign him as a free agent. Again, don’t listen to what they say, watch what they do.

Tweet of the week

Quarterback is not the only NFL position with rising salaries. The players teams hire to try to stop opposing QBs, cornerbacks, are getting expensive, too. Bashaud Breeland is a good cornerback, not a great one. His coverage skills are solid, he’s a good team player (if a bit of a hothead at times) and his work ethic is not questioned. For a fourth-round pick who everybody thought left Clemson a year too early, he has done well for himself But he hasn’t made a Pro Bowl and he hasn’t even come close enough to be considered a snub. Breeland has eight interceptions in four years in the league with a high of three in 2016.

The price tag for good at cornerback is likely to be in the vicinity of $10 million per season. And good for him if he gets it. But with the Redskins employing Josh Norman, who has cap hits in the range of $14.5 million-$16.9 million over the next three years, it would be difficult to fit him in. Truth be told, Breeland has probably been destined to leave as a free agent ever since Norman signed his contract in April of 2016.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 12
—NFL Draft (4/26) 68
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 204

In case you missed it

  

Quick Links

Cousins would reportedly look to file grievance if Redskins use franchise tag on him

Cousins would reportedly look to file grievance if Redskins use franchise tag on him

The Redskins might try to franchise tag quarterback Kirk Cousins to try to get some compensation for him as he leaves. But Cousins’ camp might not let that happen without a fight.

According to Albert Breer of the MMQB, Cousins might file a grievance if he is tagged, saying that the Redskins would be violating the spirit of the rules regarding the use of the franchise tag. He would be seeking to have the tag voided because the team clearly isn ’t interested in reaching a long-term deal with him given the acquisition of Alex Smith. The tag is supposed to be used to buy time to get an agreement done, not to squat on a player’s rights in order to trade him.

There is precedent for the tag being used in order to facilitate a trade. In 2009, the Patriots tagged quarterback Matt Cassel. They clearly had no intention of keeping him as they had Tom Brady on the roster. But New England pulled it off, shipping Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel to the Chiefs for a second-round pick.

But it is up to the player to object to being tagged and for whatever reason Cassel and his agent went along with the tag and trade rather than fighting for free agency.

It looks like Cousins ’camp won’t go as quietly.

It’s up to the Redskins to make the first move. The window to be able to tag a player opens on Tuesday with the deadline coming on March 6. We will see how things play out after that.

MORE REDSKINS: THE EXPECTATIONS GAME

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page

Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS

and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS