The Redskins have exercised their fifth-year option on outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, according to Will Brinson of CBS Sports (via Twitter). Brinson’s CBS colleague Jason La Canfora first reported yesterday that the club was expected to pick up Kerrigan’s option.
Kerrigan, 25, earned a spot in the Pro Bowl in 2012, racking up a career-high 8.5 sacks to go along with a couple of forced fumbles and an interception. He matched that sack total in 2013, though Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required) graded him as just the 24th-best 3-4 outside linebacker last season, as opposed to the seventh-best in ’12. Still, for a Redskins defense that has a few question marks, Kerrigan and fellow outside linebacker Brian Orakpo provide some stability, as well as an ability to pressure the quarterback.
As the 16th overall pick in 2011, Kerrigan is eligible for a $7.038MM salary in 2015. By exercising that option, the Redskins ensure that the former first-rounder remains under contract through ’15, though that salary is guaranteed for injury only until the start of the next league year.
Today is the last day for teams to exercise fifth-year options on 2011 first-rounders, and Kerrigan’s had been one of the last decisions that required resolution. As our tracker shows, there are still a handful of decisions to be reported, though only three could realistically go either way: Aldon Smith (49ers), Christian Ponder (Vikings), and Phil Taylor (Browns).