RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Locking up their top pass-rusher, the Washington Redskins agreed to a multiyear contract extension with linebacker Ryan Kerrigan on Wednesday, a day before the first practice of training camp.
The Redskins announced the deal a few hours before coach Jay Gruden was scheduled to speak to reporters at the team's camp facility.
Kerrigan, a first-round draft pick out of Purdue in 2011, has started all 64 games in his four-year career with Washington, totaling 38 sacks, 15 forced fumbles and two interceptions - both returned for touchdowns.
The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Kerrigan ranked second in the NFC last season with a career-high 13.5 sacks for the Redskins, who went 4-12 and finished last in their division for the sixth time in seven years.
He was entering the final year of his five-season rookie deal, but instead is now signed for the long haul.
''To get to a moment like this, where you get a chance to play out the rest of your NFL career with the team that drafted you- the team that you love, the city that you love - it hasn't really hit me yet, but it's an awesome feeling,'' Kerrigan said in a statement released by the Redskins. ''Now it's my job to go reward the Redskins for the faith they put in me by playing well this year and for the rest of my career.''
It seemed clear that Washington planned all along to give Kerrigan a significant extension once they allowed their other top sack threat, linebacker Brian Orakpo, to leave as a free agent this offseason. Orakpo signed with the Tennessee Titans.
Kerrigan is a one-time Pro Bowl selection who has provided a consistent outside rush presence since entering the NFL as the 16th overall pick in the draft. He recorded 7.5 sacks as a rookie, then 8.5 each of the next two seasons, before having his best production last year.
Re-signing him was a priority for the Redskins, who now are expected to try to also reach agreement on a multiyear deal with left tackle Trent Williams, another Pro Bowl player.
Redskins players were scheduled to report to camp and undergo conditioning tests on Wednesday, before having their initial walkthrough and practice on Thursday.
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