Ryan Kerrigan is in the final year of his 5-year, $57.5 million extension and is due to make $11.69 million this year. ESPN’s John Keim wrote a piece Thursday morning that explains why the Redskins may lean towards giving the pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan an extension over cutting or trading him. 

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In his piece, Keim cites additional cap space and depth as the biggest reasons to extend the eight-year veteran. The Redskins insider joined Thursday’s Doc and Galdi Show on the Team 980/95.9 FM to further explain how extending Kerrigan makes the most sense for the Redskins organization.

“He’s got experience at the end, so I think that’s why it would make sense,” Keim said of 31-year-old. “Then you’re protecting yourself, because as you’ve seen here, things can go wrong in a hurry. If you get out there and Montez Sweat has some issue in the first week and he’s going to miss five or six weeks, and you can plug in Ryan Kerrigan, you’re in pretty good shape.”

Playing Kerrigan in a role like pass-rusher Chris Long had in New England and Philadelphia is what Keim envisioned for the former Boilermaker, assuming the Redskins draft Chase Young in April’s NFL draft. His snaps would be down with Sweat and Young most likely receiving the bulk of the workload.

Keim, however, deems that Kerrigan could be “a guy who can be more than just a part-time pass rusher, but also a guy that can help you in that role and compliment what you get from the other young guys.” The price at which he’s play at is the problem the Redskins have, which is why Keim thinks an extension is inevitable.

“Lower his cap number, get it down and extend him even it’s just another year,” Keim states.

Having depth on the defensive line is what Keim deemed “pivotal”, and the Redskins would have that option in the event they extended Kerrigan and drafted Chase Young. Keim draws parallels to the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive front of last year which was very interchangeable.

The NFL Draft is April 20th, so we’ll see what the Redskins do with the number two pick. If the Redskins trade their number two pick for more assets, they would still have a proven player in Kerrigan if they decided to extend him.

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