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Trade Ryan Kerrigan? Actually, Ron Rivera wants him to play more

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With speculation swirling that the Washington Football Team could trade veteran pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan, and some conflicting reports suggesting he even requested a trade, now would be a good time for some clarity.

For Washington head coach Ron Rivera, there's an easy answer to all of the rumors.

"I feel we got to play him a little bit more and I plan to," Rivera said Monday via the Washington Football Talk Podcast. 

Rivera's comments come after Kerrigan got just 23 combined snaps in games against the Giants and the Cowboys. Despite the small snap count, Kerrigan still logged two sacks in those games and has four on the year.

"Look at what he’s done in terms of his career and look at what he’s done in a short period with us," Rivera said of Kerrigan. "Snaps per production is way up there."

The trade talk centering around Kerrigan comes at an interesting time. A fan favorite and long-time bright spot for a team with few bright spots, Kerrigan means a lot to the organization and the city. He's done significant charity work in his decade in Burgundy and Gold and earlier this year set a new all-time franchise sack record. 

For the head coach, Kerrigan is the exact guy to keep around. 

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"Look at the way he handles himself, extra work, role model for young players," the coach said. "That's the kind of guy you want around."

 

Certainly Kerrigan can serve as an example of hard work and taking care of your body leading to a long, successful career. 

But at the same time, there surely is some seriousness to all the trade rumors. Washington is built going forward with Chase Young and Montez Sweat as the edge rushers, and that leaves Kerrigan on the short end for snaps. 

Plus, Kerrigan's contract is up after this season. 

It's easy to say Washington doesn't want to trade Kerrigan because of everything he means for the organization. But will that hold true next year in free agency? Kerrigan is only 32 and will be looking for another contract, and it seems almost likely that his next deal will come from outside of Ashburn. If that's the case, maybe a trade now is the way to go?

The truth is Kerrigan might be more valuable to Rivera and this Washington team than what he could net in a trade. 

Desmond King is a 25-year-old defensive back that made the All Pro team in 2018. The Chargers just traded King for a sixth-round pick. That's not a lot of compensation.

In the throes of an NFC East title race, Kerrigan means more to Washington than a 6th-round pick, even if he's playing reduced snaps. Kerrigan might want more snaps, understandably, but Rivera needs the depth and insurance if something happens to Sweat or Young. 

If that price tag increases, things could get interesting. But it seems unlikely right now.