Washington faced a Saturday deadline to exercise the option on the contract, which became standard for first-round picks following the ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement in 2011.
The terms indicate that players taken in the first round, but outside the top 10, will make a salary that is the average of the third- through 25th-highest of all players at that position – which, for Kerrigan, will reportedly be approximately $7 million.
“Ryan, from his first day walking on the field, has been an impactful player for us,” general manager Bruce Allen said Monday before playing in the Brian Orakpo Leukemia Golf Challenge. “He’s been a great addition for us, and obviously, he’s a solid character.”
Kerrigan has not only started every game since he was taken No. 16 overall out of Purdue in 2011, but he played every snap during his rookie year, all but seven during his second year and 95 percent of all snaps in 2013. He had a career-high 66 tackles last season, including 8.5 sacks, and forced four fumbles.
The move could potentially give the Redskins a measure of stability at the position after the upcoming season. Brian Orakpo, the other starting outside linebacker, figures to play this season under the franchise designation, a one-year contract, and will become a free agent again next March.