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Pro Bowler Ryan Kerrigan hangs up his cleats after 11 seasons in the NFL

Ryan Kerrigan, a four-time Pro Bowl linebacker who played for Washington and the Philadelphia Eagles during his 11-year career, called it quits on Friday.

Kerrigan, 33, played in 172 games between the then-Washington Redskins and Washington Football Team and the Eagles. He finished with 95.5 sacks – all with Washington – and retired as the franchise all-time leader in the stat category.

He signed a one-day contract to retire as a member of the organization where he played 156 games.


“I just want people to know that they got all of me,” he said, via the Commanders’ website. “I don’t have anymore, physically or emotionally, to give as a player. I put my whole life into being a football player.”

Washington selected Kerrigan with the No. 16 pick of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Purdue. He immediately made an impact on the team, recording 64 tackles and 7.5 sacks in his first season.

He led the NFL with five forced fumbles in 2014 and had a career-high 13.5 sacks. In 2016, he led the NFL with 18 tackles for a loss. He had 11 sacks that season as well and earned his second Pro Bowl selection.

He played for Washington from 2011 to 2020 before signing with the Eagles ahead of the 2021 season.


“It’s a new era of football here in Washington, and I’m hoping that means a lot of wins in the future, some playoff wins – something that I unfortunately didn’t get to experience here,” he said of the Commanders at a news conference Saturday. “I’m just hoping that means good things for the team moving forward and a good thing for the guys in the locker room.”

Washington center Chase Roullier sang Kerrigan’s praises. Both players were on the Redskins and Washington Football Team as the team eventually rebranded as the Commanders.

“Obviously, Ryan spent most of his time here under the old name, but us honoring him as the Commanders I think just continues on the legacy of that name and our team as a whole and just shows that we are still the same group of guys, whether the name has changed or not,” Roullier said. 

“There’s a lot of cultural changes, a lot of things that have changed, but we’re still able to honor Ryan as such an important part of this franchise and what he has done for us.”

Kerrigan expressed optimism in the direction of the team upon his exit, punter Tress Way said.

“What’s really cool is Kerrigan comes out for one day and he’s talking about what he sees just with us and in the locker room, in the building, on the field, and he said the word ‘momentum,’” Way said. “I’m pretty biased because he’s one of my best friends, but I would argue the same thing. You just feel a certain momentum, so it’s just a matter of whether we can execute and win some games and keep that going.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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