Philadelphia Eagles boast near-elite pass rush with Kerrigan’s addition

Ryan Kerrigan #91, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Ryan Kerrigan #91, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

This is one of those bold moves that you’ve been waiting on if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan. No, it’s actually better than that. Dare we say that this is one of those moves that every Birds fan can actually shake hands and agree on? When was the last time that happened?

On the third Monday of our great country’s fifth month, the Eagles made that splash signing at the defensive end position that much of the fan base and media have been clamoring for. They added former adversary and Washington Football Team mainstay Ryan Kerrigan on a one-year deal.

This could be a move of epic proportions. This could be like having Michael Bennett and Chris Long all over again.

Here are three reasons why that’s the case if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan

1. This takes a tremendous amount of pressure off of Derek Barnett.

Prior to the 2020-2021 season, the Birds exercised the fifth-year option on Derek Barnett‘s contract. That may have been a move that was done too early. He’ll make a base salary of over $10 million during the 2021-2022 run.

His run in Philly hasn’t gone in the manner that Eagles fans would have liked. He’s missed a full season worth of action (16 regular-season games and two playoff games during his first four seasons), but the addition of Kerrigan, the team’s decision to draft Tarron Jackson, and the emergence of Josh Sweat could help him.

That alleviates a ton of pressure for a young man in a contract season. That could be what the doctor ordered in Philly.

2. Teams can’t double-team anyone on the Eagles defensive line regularly.

With Ryan Kerrigan, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Javon Hargrave all on the field at the same time and with guys like Barnett, Sweat. and rookies Marlon Tuipulotu and Milton Williams subbing into the lineup, it’s ‘pick your poison’ for opposing offensive coordinators.

Sure, you can double-team Fletch, but do you really want to go one-on-one versus Graham and Kerrigan on the outside? Good luck with that!

3. Kerrigan doesn’t have to be the guy.

With what’s suddenly a near-elite defensive line in Philly, Kerrigan doesn’t have to come in and be the guy, nor does he have to play every down. That’s good for him and good for this Eagles team.

Here are a few final thoughts if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan.

Kerrigan made the move from outside linebacker in the 3-4 defensive scheme to the defensive end position in Ron Rivera’s 4-3 in 2020, During the opening weekend, a game that was played versus the Philadelphia Eagles, he tallied two sacks. He wound up with 5.5 on the season. That gives him 95.5 for his career.

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Prior to this, perhaps the biggest tale about Kerrigan that had ever been told by football’s most loyal fans centered around the day when he manhandled Halapoulivaati Vaitai in Big V’s first start. Now, he’s one of the good guys. Again, he doesn’t have to be the star. He just needs to be serviceable. There shouldn’t be any issues there, and that’s great news for the Eagles and a fan base that’s starving for a winner.