With the trade deadline one day away, Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera said he was “not going to speculate” on trade rumors involving franchise sack leader Ryan Kerrigan.
Rivera’s comments were the first time he addressed said rumors about a potential trade involving Kerrigan since reports surfaced this past weekend that the 32-year-old had requested out. Despite said rumors, Washington is reportedly set on keeping Kerrigan, whose contract expires at the end of the season.
While Kerrigan has not seen the number of snaps on a per-game basis he would have liked, he’s still been productive in limited action. Kerrigan is tied for second on the team in sacks with four despite playing just a career-low 36% of defensive plays. He’s received praise from both Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio for his efforts in a new role this season, too.
Washington might not be interested in moving on from Kerrigan as of now, they have the flexibility to do so due to the team’s strong defensive front and the emergence of Montez Sweat and Chase Young.
So, if Kerrigan is traded, where might he end up? Let’s take a look.
1. Seattle Seahawks
Perhaps no team makes more sense as a trade destination for Kerrigan than the Seahawks, a team that has already made one deal with Washington this year when Seattle acquired cornerback Quinton Dunbar in March.
Seattle currently sits at 6-1 and in first place in the loaded NFC West. The Seahawks are a true Super Bowl contender, and for Kerrigan to head out west would mark the first time he’d be able to play for a real championship-caliber team.
The Seahawks also have a massive need at pass rusher, a hole on the defense that’s been quite evident this season without Jadeveon Clowney.
Through Week 8, the Seahawks have only notched 12 sacks on the season, which is good for 24th in the league. It’s worth noting that two of those sacks came from Jamal Adams, who plays safety. The pass rush simply hasn’t been getting it done.
Seattle’s offense has carried them to their hot start, but its defense will certainly need to improve should they hope to make a deep playoff run. The organization knows this, and it’s part of the reason they traded for Carlos Dunlap last week.
By adding Kerrigan, Seattle would address arguably its biggest hole on the team. If they can offer Washington fair compensation, this seems like an ideal fit.
2. Las Vegas Raiders
Believe it or not, the Raiders are 4-3 and in a prime position to make a playoff push for the first time since 2015.
Like Seattle, the Raiders’ pass rush has been arguably the team’s weakest unit on defense. After seven games, the Las Vegas defense has just seven sacks on the season. Only the Jaguars have less on the season with six.
Entering the season, Las Vegas imagined they had a solid pass rush duo in second-year pros Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby, who combined for 14.5 sacks as rookies in 2019. While Crosby has been productive with 4.5 sacks this season, Ferrell has yet to even record one sack this year.
Kerrigan might not start for the Raiders, should they acquire him, but he would certainly see more snaps for Jon Gruden’s squad than currently gets in Washington. The production from Ferrell and Crosby is not merely close to what Young and Sweat are doing on a weekly basis in the nation’s capital.
3. Tennessee Titans
As stated earlier, the loss of Jadeveon Clowney has significantly hurt Seattle’s pass rush, which is why they could be in the marker for Kerrigan. However, Clowney’s decision to sign with Tennessee this offseason hasn’t exactly helped the Titans out much, either.
The Titans have just seven sacks on the season, tied with Las Vegas for the second-lowest mark of any team in the NFL. Both Clowney and Vic Beasley, who signed a one-year deal this offseason, have yet to record a sack through seven games this season.
This past Sunday, the Titans fell to the previously one-win Bengals in convincing fashion. Entering the game, Bengals QB Joe Burrow had been sacked a league-most 28 times. Burrow was not sacked once by Tennessee on Sunday, and the No. 1 overall pick played mistake-free football in the victory.
After losing in the AFC Championship game a year ago, the Titans have looked better this season and are a true contender in the conference. However, this team has little chance of getting past the AFC’s elite without being able to sack the quarterback.
Tennessee has already been active in the trade market, as they improved their secondary by trading for former Chargers cornerback Desmond King on Monday. A trade for Kerrigan would only help a defense that must level-up its play a few notches if Tennessee hopes to play deep into January or February.