Ryan Kerrigan's free agency will take him to Cincinnati. Washington's all-time sack leader is slated to meet with the Bengals on Wednesday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The Football Team also has interest in retaining Kerrigan, according to Rapoport.
The 16th overall pick in the 2011 draft, Kerrigan has been arguably Washington's best player for an entire decade. A four-time Pro Bowler, the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Kerrigan has tallied 95.5 sacks, 119 tackles for loss, 26 forced fumbles, and three interception returns for touchdowns during his decade with Washington.
A starter for the first nine years of his career, Kerrigan made just one start in 2020 while spending the majority of the season backing up Chase Young and Montez Sweat. While Young took home Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, Kerrigan still found a way to make an impact. He recorded 5.5 sacks (the same total he put up in 2019) while helping Washington capture the NFC East division title.
"RK didn't have to open his arms to me and help me throughout the whole season," Young said of Kerrigan after the season, via NBC Sports Washington. "You hear them stories where that doesn't happen all the time. I always thank RK for doing that and always thank him for the type of man that he is."
The 32-year-old Kerrigan would be a nice addition to the Bengals' revamped defense. Cincinnati has parted ways with several significant players during free agency that includes cornerback William Jackson III, defensive tackle Geno Atkins and linebacker Carl Lawson. Cincinnati replaced Jackson with former Cowboys cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, former Giants/Saints cornerback Eli Apple and former Steeler Mike Hilton, one of the NFL's top slot cornerbacks. They've replaced Lawson with former Saints defensive end Trey Hendrickson, who cashed in to the tune of a four-year, $60 million deal after recording a career-high 13.5 sacks last season.
While he would ideally find a situation where he can start again, Kerrigan did not rule out staying in Washington in 2021. The team's success last season is the main reason why.
"I do believe the team is on the up. I believe we got a good foundation," Kerrigan said on The John Keim Report podcast. "I mean, hell, we barely lost to the Buccaneers and we didn't particularly play that well in that game. It shows you the kind of potential we have as a team."