The Redskins made sure they held onto linebacker Brian Orakpo for the 2014 season by using the franchise tag and now they’ve made a move toward retaining the linebacker on the other side of the defense for the 2015 season as well.
The team announced Friday morning that they have exercised their fifth-year option on linebacker Ryan Kerrigan’s contract, which makes it highly likely that Kerrigan will spend the next two years rushing quarterbacks for the Washington defense. The 16th overall pick of the 2011 draft can still work on a long-term extension with the Redskins and stands to make $7.038 million in 2015 if he plays under the terms of the option.
Kerrigan has 24.5 sacks while starting every game over his first three seasons with the Redskins. The Redskins have talked a lot about being a more aggressive defense this season, something that should suit Kerrigan and Orakpo well as the team’s leading pass rushers.
Both players will be there in 2014, but keeping the duo in place over the long-term won’t be easy. There’s only so much money to spend at any one position on the field and both outside linebackers will be in position to cash in over the next two years.