The Washington Redskins today announced they have picked up the fifth-year option for outside linebacker
Kerrigan, 25, was the Redskins' first-round (16th-overall) pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, and has been a model of consistency since that time, starting every game for the team and registering 24.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and two interceptions that he returned for touchdowns.
Kerrigan then battled through a knee injury for most of the 2013 season, but still tied a career high with 8.5 sacks and four forced fumbles, and was fifth on the team with 83 total tackles.
Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said earlier this week that although the team at that point was yet to formally decide on Kerrigan's fifth-year option, that, "Obviously we love Ryan."
"Ryan from his first day walking on the field has been an impactful player for us," Allen said. "I think his first two years he played 100 percent of the plays and last year about 98 percent. He’s been a great addition for us and is obviously a solid character."
Kerrigan on Monday said he'd be elated if the team picked up his fifth-year option.
"I really like it here, and I like the team and the area," he said.
Kerrigan said he was looking forward to growing under first-year head coach Jay Gruden, as well as outside linebackers coach Brian Baker, who is also in his first season with the team.
"(Baker) told us our job is to make plays and that this defense needs us to make plays," Kerrigan said. "There’s no time for thinking, you just have to go and make plays."
As for the team's stance on rushing the passer, Kerrigan said he's gotten the sense from defensive coordinator Jim Haslett that fellow outside linebacker
"You can definitely sense that things are going to be different," Kerrigan said. "Coach Gruden set the tone from Day 1 that, you know, we’re going to be a physical team, and the teams that have won the Super Bowl the last couple years – the Ravens, the Seahawks – they have been some very physical teams. So that is what we have to do to get where we want to be."