With future uncertain, Ryan Kerrigan says Washington's DL is 'in good hands'

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Ethan Cadeaux
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With future uncertain, Kerrigan says WFT's DL is 'in good hands' originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

After 10 seasons in the nation's capital, Ryan Kerrigan knows that his time with the Washington Football Team could be coming to a close.

Kerrigan wants to be a starter moving forward, something that won't happen if he returns to the Burgundy and Gold next season. And after playing out his contract, the franchise's all-time sack leader is set to hit free agency for the first time in his career.

Although there's a solid chance Kerrigan departs this offseason, the pass rusher believes Washington's front will be strongly positioned without him.

"The D-line is in good hands here," Kerrigan said during his season-ending presser on Sunday.

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Over the past two years, Washington used first-round picks on pass rushers Montez Sweat and Chase Young. The duo earned Washington's two starting edge rusher spots this season, moving Kerrigan to a more limited role for the first time in his career.

Kerrigan, who still notched 5.5 sacks on the season despite playing a career-low 38 percent of Washington's defensive snaps, had nothing but positive things to say about the team's young stud pass rushers.

"I mean, Chase [Young] is Chase, an awesome player," Kerrigan said. "Sweat is going to be hell for years to come."

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While Young and Sweat earned a lot of attention this season, Washington's interior defensive lineman deserves just as much praise.

Both Daron Payne (2018 first-rounder) and Jonathan Allen (2017 first-rounder) turned in excellent seasons for Washington, and backup Tim Settle contributed in limited snaps, too.

"Daron Payne, to finish the year like he did was pretty awesome to see," Kerrigan said. "Jon Allen was a beast as well."

Almost all of Washington's defensive line success in 2020 came without Matt Ioannidis, too, who was the unit's best player a season ago and named a Pro Bowl alternate.

Ioannidis' season ended with a bicep tear in Week 3, but the former Temple product is expected to be right back in the mix next season for Washington.

So, whether Kerrigan returns or not, the 32-year-old knows Washington's defensive line will be stout in 2021 and beyond.

"The D-line is in good hands, that's for sure," Kerrigan reiterated.