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The once prodigal son came home. Ryan Kerrigan signed a one-day contract with Washington, to announce his retirement from professional football. Despite spending last season with the division rival Philadelphia Eagles, Kerrigan wanted to close out his career with the team that originally drafted him in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Washington took the “Heartbreak Kid” with the 16th overall pick out of Purdue. He made an impact from the very start. There was something tangibly different about him. A quiet confidence. A non-stop motor.

He would start every single game in his first eight seasons, and he would play for Washington for ten years. He was named to four Pro Bowls, and finished behind only Dexter Manley in career sacks (95.5). He registered a sack total in double digits four different times.

The Commanders posted a statement on Twitter:

“Sometimes I think about the life that I’ve been able to live because of football, and I can’t believe it’s me that’s been chosen to live it.

No matter how long I played and no matter how focused I was on the task at hand, I thankfully never lost sight of just how cool it is to be an NFL player. Pulling up to FedEx Field on game day and seeing so many people there in my jersey was just about as cool (as) it gets. And to have had the success that I was able to have? Something I never in my wildest dreams could have envisioned.

To say I’m thankful would be quite the understatement.”


It’s more than fitting that Kerrigan retire here, he was a fan favorite from the jump. He always had time for an autograph, or a photo, or just a smile.

Kerrigan TC 2011

“While I’m thankful for the amazing times and memories I was able to have as a player, I’m equally thankful to now have the wisdom and courage to walk away. We all eventually come to the end of our playing days, and that time is now for me.”

Kerrigan said that he would like to carry on in football as a coach – preferably in the NFL.

Good luck and congratulations on a great career Ryan. Enjoy retirement.

Kerrigan / Polumbus

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