RICHMOND - The Redskins locked up their best player on defense Wednesday, signing linebacker Ryan Kerrigan to a five-year contract extension, the team announced on the eve of training camp.
Kerrigan’s extension calls for him to earn $11.5 million per year and includes a $16 million signing bonus, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The new deal extends the Redskins’ 2011 first round draft pick through 2020; he’ll earn about $7 million this season on the fifth-year option from his rookie contract, which the team triggered in May 2014.
Kerrigan is coming off his best season after amassing a career-high 13.5 sacks last season. He also finished the season tied for the league lead in forced fumbles with five.
The Redskins and Kerrigan’s representatives have been discussing a multi-year contract extension for months and met face-to-face last week, a source told CSNWashington.com.
“To get to a moment like this where you get a chance to play out the rest of your NFL career with the team that drafted you, the team that you love, the city that you love, it hasn’t really hit me yet, but it’s an awesome feeling,” Kerrigan was quoted as saying in a story posted on Redskins.com. “Now it’s my job to go reward the Redskins for the faith they put in me by playing well this year, and for the rest of my career.”
The Redskins are scheduled to report to Richmond on Wednesday and then hit the fields at the Bon Secours training facility on Thursday morning for the opening practice of training camp. Whether Kerrigan will be among the players practicing fully, however, remains to be seen. The 26-year-old missed the entire offseason after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in May.
Redskins Coach Jay Gruden is scheduled to meet with reporters later Wednesday and is expected to provide an update on Kerrigan’s status.
The average salary on Kerrigan’s extension will put him third among all 3-4 outside linebackers, behind only Kansas City’s Justin Houston ($16.8 million) and Green Bay’s Clay Matthews ($13.2 million), according to overthecap.com.
“I think more than anything it’s awesome, the vote of confidence that the Redskins have put in me,” Kerrigan told Redskins.com. “Being drafted a couple of years back, defensive end who is becoming an outside linebacker, you’re never sure how things are going to turn out for you.”
MORE REDSKINS: How a Brady lawsuit could benefit the Redskins