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Need to Know: Fame and fortune coming for Redskins’ Kerrigan?

May 12, 2015, 5:25 AM EDT

Kerrigan-forced-fumble-Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, May 12, 79 days before the Washington Redskins open training camp in Richmond, VA.

Question of the day

A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

It appears that Ryan Kerrigan will become a very rich man at some point soon. His camp and the Redskins are progressing in contract extension talks. A new contract likely would pay Kerrigan in the neighborhood of $10 million per year over several seasons. There’s the fortune, will fame follow?

First, let’s talk about “household names”. If you take the term literally there are very few of them in the NFL. If you knocked at the door of a randomly selected house in America and started naming football players, the recognition would probably stop at Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and maybe a few others. Robert Griffin III likely has a high degree of name recognition because of his performance his rookie year and due to the fact that much of what he has said and done since gets coverage on cable news, social media, and on pop culture type media outlets.

That may sound odd to NFL fans but keep in mind that according to the TV ratings over half of the people in America don’t even watch the Super Bowl.

But I think what you’re aiming at is something more like, say, J.J. Watt and Adrian Peterson, players who are on the tips of the tongues of even casual NFL fans. I don’t believe that is a status that Kerrigan, Robinson, or anyone else on the Redskins besides Griffin can attain.

For one thing, you have to be a really, really good player to be well known among people who are fans of the other 31 NFL team. You have to be an All-Pro, or at least get some votes. Kerrigan had 13.5 sacks last year. Justin Houston led the NFL with 22. That’s a long way away from earning All-Pro votes.

Watt, who, as noted, is a household name, had 20.5 sacks last year. It was the second 20-sack season of his four-year career. Last year was the first time that Kerrigan, who came into the league the same year as Watt, had double-digit sacks.

This isn’t to disparage Kerrigan at all. He’s a very good player. But he’s not nearly good enough to overcome the other issue with Kerrigan, Robinson, or anyone else on the team becoming a household name—the team’s record.

There are very few household names on losing teams. Going back a ways, Walter Payton managed to be very well known despite the fact that the Bears were pretty bad until the tail end of his career. The flip side of the coin is someone like Russell Wilson, who probably would be fairly anonymous if not for consecutive Super Bowl appearances.

If Kerrigan gets better players around him he could become more of a household name. He could get more sacks, which is the main metric for defenders becoming well known. And the team would be better, at least in theory, so his chances at fame would increase that way.

Robinson? I wouldn’t get too excited after one season as a starter. He has a chance at being pretty good, maybe making a Pro Bowl or two at some point down the road. But I don’t see him being good enough to be considered a household name.

Timeline

—It’s been 135 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 124 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 36; Redskins training camp starts 79; Thursday night Redskins @ Giants 135

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

  1. skinsgame - May 12, 2015 at 7:10 AM

    $10 million per season would put Kerrigan in the top 4 or 5 of highest paid LB’s in the league. Is he really the 4th or 5th best LB? They let Orakpo walk after he got $8 million per season offered from Tennessee and Orakpo had a few pro bowls.

    • babyteal1 - May 12, 2015 at 7:38 AM

      That’s the going rate in 2015.

      • skinsgame - May 12, 2015 at 8:12 AM

        No, it’s actually not the going rate. The going rate is about $8 million. It’s $10-$13 million for the top 4 or 5 LB’s in the league and Kerrigan is not there. He’s really good but he’s not top 5. Orakpo brought multiple pro bowl trips to the negotiating table and got $8 million so, why in the world would Kerrigan get $10 in the same offseason? If fewer accolades equate to more pay then the bottom end of their roster is set to get terribly wealthy.

        • bangkokben - May 12, 2015 at 3:16 PM

          The top ten cap values for just 3-4 outside LBs next year average $8.8M+ and in 2017 $9.1M+. $10M is a reasonable average per year for a 4-5 year contract.

          I don’t get why you keep wanting to underpay Redskin top talent and I’m still waiting for your 5 better left tackles than Trent Williams.

        • skinsgame - May 12, 2015 at 6:03 PM

          Jason Peters, Duane Brown, Joe Thomas, Tyron Smith, D Ferguson, Ryan Clady, not in any particular order. Could make a case for Okung and Staley as well. Some days he’s the best, others, I believe he takes plays off. He should headline the list and I believe with Callahan coaching him he is likely to.

          The article above has Kerrigan getting $10 million per season. If they were going to pay him on the scale you showed it wouldn’t be awful. Make it performance based and I’ll buy in. But paying him now what he wouldn’t make for another 3 seasons at best just doesn’t make sense. There are a lot of holes to fill. If his contract is bloated, he ends up cut and what good is he to the team then?

          I’m not opposed to the players getting paid, especially if they’re Redskins already. I just don’t think it’s a good idea to get too wrapped up in overpaying (assuming $10 million per for Kerrigan). Williams is already paid top 5 money and Kerrigan would also be top 5. Williams will be looking for an extension that will likely make him the highest paid O lineman in the league. Between them both, that’s a lot of coin to tie up for 2 “stars” on a 4-12 team.

          Would you have spent the $8+ million on Orakpo? He was a Redskin too. Or were they being prudent with a player who had a perceived injury problem?

        • bangkokben - May 13, 2015 at 10:07 AM

          Last night, I gave you a thoughtful response. This morning I have a message that my post was unable to be processed. Perhaps it was too thoughtful.

          Here’s the highlights.

          Best left tackles in this order:
          Joe Thomas
          Jason Peters
          Ryan Clady
          Joe Staley
          Tyron Smith
          Trent Williams
          Duane Brown
          D’Brickashaw Ferguson
          Russell Okung

          A good list. I looked for more but couldn’t find others that had to be in the discussion. Actually Russell Okung doesn’t belong in the discussion but we can get to him later. Joe Thomas is clearly the gold standard and no one compares to him when you consider pro-bowls (8), all-pros (5), and durability (never missed a game.) {All of these players accolades can be checked at Pro-Football-Reference.com} His one drawback is his age (30). Peters is/has been better but is 33. Clady is better but 28. Staley better but 30. Smith, most would say better. Personally, I can’t get the images of the left edge consistently getting beat and Romo either avoiding the kill shot with his spin move or getting knocked out of the game by our ‘skins. I also need to see more. Does one really good season make his case? He is however, only 24. He also averages the highest salary for left tackles at just over $12.2M and his cap hit in 2016 is $14M. Brown is the same level as Williams but Brown is 29 and Williams 26. Ferguson is basically what you think Williams is: overpaid for only making three pro-bowls (last in 2011) and no All-pros. Ferguson has the highest cap hit in 2016 at $14.1M and he is 31 years old. Okung is 27 – zero all-pros, one pro-bowl, missed eleven games in the last three seasons. There is not a Seahawk fan that would take Okung over Williams.

          We all want Williams to get better. Even without Callahan, Williams will ‘get better’ by default. The best left tackles are older than Williams and the younger left tackles haven’t done anything – except Smith.

          Here is how you pay Kerrigan: 5-year $50M with $15M guaranteed. Here are the cap hits in order: ($8M, $9M, $10M, $11M, $12M). This is not overpaying and this is not crippling your team. Williams could have a similar contract for top five left tackles.

          Lastly, Jeremy Parnell is now the highest paid right tackle. The Redskins pursued him in free agency. This year he will cost more than double Brandon Scherff. It is better to pay your own players slightly above market in order to get stuck in a need situation where you HAVE to overpay to get the same production. The market in the NFL is always climbing.

        • skinsgame - May 13, 2015 at 5:48 PM

          Can not compute. Too thoughtful. HA!
          I like the numbers you give for Kerrigan. I would just make performance be a factor in each of the last 3 of those years. If he doesn’t improve, unlikely as that seems, he would be a cap casualty with those cap,numbers. I suppose I’d like the cap figures to be more friendly so as to give the team the incentive to retain him even if he doesn’t improve a little.
          Let me just say, I do believe both Williams and Kerrigan will get paid huge. Williams has managed to stay out of trouble and is clearly on his way to being a premier left tackle, Kerrigan is quietly becoming the face of the franchise. Squeaky clean, successful, and homegrown. I just remember the regular season struggles and try not to get caught up in the euphoria of the offseason.

        • Stephfan - May 13, 2015 at 7:16 PM

          Skinsgame you don’t know football and you keep second guessing yourself so stop while you are ahead

        • skinsgame - May 13, 2015 at 9:18 PM

          Lol. Is this about Kerrigan intercepting Eli in the opener of 2011? Look, if you don’t believe me that Kerrigan is not a premier LB yet, maybe John Keim and Ryan Kerrigan can convince you. Here’s an article Keim wrote in December…

          http://espn.go.com/blog/washington-redskins/post/_/id/13597/ryan-kerrigan-improves-as-a-rusher-eyes-more

          And if you need a reminder that Trent Williams mails it in from time to time, watch the Rams game from last December. Of course, one game doesn’t define his career, but neither does one good game or a good play from 2013. And the fact that you believe it does tells me, you shouldn’t be throwing stones.

    • Rich Tandler - May 12, 2015 at 7:48 AM

      I think Kerrigan will seem overpaid in the beginning of the contract and underpaid by the end of it. Agents are smart, they know that the cap is going to go up considerably over the four or five years of the deal and when new contracts are given out their clients will get pushed further down the pay scale rankings.

      • skinsgame - May 12, 2015 at 8:16 AM

        Agents are crafty indeed. Hopefully the Redskins are more so. Give him $10 million but make it incentive laden and a base of $7-$8.

        • cowboyhater - May 12, 2015 at 8:53 AM

          Hello Orakpo apologist….here’s something for you…. Kerrigan > Orakpo….enough said.

        • skinsgame - May 12, 2015 at 6:05 PM

          LOL. I’m most certainly not an apologist for him. I wouldn’t have paid him that much either.

      • hail74 - May 12, 2015 at 8:37 AM

        Orakpo has a severe injury history and Kerrigan doesn’t.

        • jonevans511 - May 12, 2015 at 9:11 AM

          Exactly what i was going to say.

        • skinsgame - May 12, 2015 at 6:09 PM

          “Severe”? If he hits his incentives he gets about $9 million per. Rich is guessing Kerrigan is going to get $10 million per. That doesn’t seem to match with your statement.

    • Stephfan - May 12, 2015 at 9:08 AM

      Skinsgame now Kerrigan isn’t a top 5 lb? He deserves the money he is about to make. First you said Trent wasn’t a top 5 tackle and now Kerrigan? The two of them deserve every penny they get and I’m still waiting for you to say who is better than Trent and I’ll even go with who is better than Kerrigan as well.

      • skinsgame - May 12, 2015 at 6:14 PM

        I never said “he’s not a top 5 lb”, I asked if he was. I do question paying him the top 5 money. Top 5 money, I expect an all-pro season mixed in. He hasn’t had that yet.

        • skinsgame - May 12, 2015 at 6:25 PM

          I stand corrected, I did say he wasn’t there. Von Miller, Matthews, Mathis, A Smith, Houston., Dumervil.

        • Stephfan - May 12, 2015 at 7:07 PM

          Think before you speak skins game and only two of this names are consider top 5. Those others are top 10 material.. Second your only naming guys that do one thing get sacks. So are you saying that Kerrigan doesn’t get sacks

        • skinsgame - May 12, 2015 at 9:32 PM

          No, I’m naming players that have been All-Pros and game changers.

        • Stephfan - May 12, 2015 at 10:20 PM

          Skinsgame so your saying that Kerrigan isn’t a game changer? Well how bout when he was a rookie and intercepted Eli and scored a td. Helped us win the game.. That’s not game changinging? The next year in the first game he intercepted another pass. He is constant on the defense always causing pressure. But I guess that ain’t game changing enough. What does miller do besides get sack because I didn’t hear squat about him last year? Or Mathews? Clay isn’t the same as he used to be and his brother doesn’t come close. All the people mention used to make plays or a game changer as you say but clay hasn’t mad any big plays in years, excluding sacks. What interceptions did he get to help win a game is cause a fumble while Kerrigan was tied for most forced fumbles last season? But you like what you like

        • skinsgame - May 12, 2015 at 11:36 PM

          We’re all entitled to an opinion. In my opinion, Kerrigan is a really good LB who is not yet great and I don’t believe teams have to scheme for him. That doesn’t mean I don’t recollect him making a nice play or changing the outcome of a game once or twice. He’s gonna get paid, you don’t need to worry.

    • Jimmie - May 12, 2015 at 9:42 AM

      Let’s not be so hasty. Are we paying Kerrigan for his sack production? If so, then he wasn’t far at all from Top 5 last year. In fact, he was 7th overall and 2nd in the NFC, ahead of Jason Pierre-Paul and Clay Matthews. He tied for first in the league in forced fumbles and averaged 4 combined tackles a game. Not shabby for an edge rusher.

      • skinsgame - May 12, 2015 at 6:12 PM

        4 of his sacks came against Jacksonville. Stats can be misleading.

  2. alextwrs - May 12, 2015 at 7:37 AM

    Yea he had a couple pro bowls and a couple seasons on IR. Standout stat: RAK had 5 sacks in the division for his career, not season, career. That doesnt warrant even five million a year in my eyes. Glad we let him walk. Kerrigan is twice the player RAK is. Kerrigan needs to be the defensive leader, and in my mind he is now. Give him the money, he has earned it.

    • skinsgame - May 12, 2015 at 8:18 AM

      I won’t miss Orakpo either. My point was about overpaying players on a 4-12 team.

      • kenlinkins - May 12, 2015 at 9:23 AM

        I didn’t miss him last year!

  3. troylok - May 12, 2015 at 7:40 AM

    I don’t know much about Kerrigan (probably because he’s not household name), but he seems like a pretty selfless player who puts team before all else. I hope that rubs off on other players. Unfortunately, the guys who take on the block so others can make a tackle or the guy who only gets 10 sacks because he is asked to drop back in pass coverage – those guys never seem to make the big spotlight. Fortunately, guys like that are precisely what winning football teams are made of.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - May 12, 2015 at 9:14 AM

      Kerrigan is the kind of player McGlue is trying to fill the team with.

      So I’m pretty sure the Redskins will do what it takes to keep him here.
      ~

      • ajbus1 - May 13, 2015 at 6:28 PM

        Yup.

  4. sidepull - May 12, 2015 at 8:47 AM

    This guy brings his game on a consistent basis. One of the teams more reliable players. He is not going anywhere and I am hopeful that they are saving money for Williams as well. Williams too is a warrior who shows up and will play no matter how reportedly bad he feels. Good anchors, leaders to have on both side of the ball.

    • ET - May 12, 2015 at 10:27 AM

      Yup. If any current Skins have earned the chance for a big payday, Williams and Kerrigan have. Exactly the place to start the increased retention of quality players.

  5. skip36 - May 12, 2015 at 9:04 AM

    for NTK Rich my question is about undrafted players around the league, with so many are the Redskins still looking for best available players, even thou there at the max, does Scot our GM keep tabs on the other 31 teams about there undrafted players & how does their pay scale work

  6. Stephfan - May 12, 2015 at 9:05 AM

    Stop crying that Kerrigan is getting over paid. He has the chance to grow and become a heck of a player! Herrigan has had steady seasons one after another. They need to resign him because as Scott would say the reward is better than the risk. On top of that Ryan is a class act on and of the field and if we don’t resign him, who is better? Bout time skins paid their own. Because some contracts are either loaded heavy in the front or back end of it so the player will sign.

  7. kenlinkins - May 12, 2015 at 9:21 AM

    In he case of Kerrigan, I am going to default to the new GM (and to insiders like Rich) as they seems to have a good understand of the true market value of todays NFL players. While $10 million seems a lot for 13 sacks, Kerrigan is not a pass rush specialist and with the dysfunctional defense the last 2 years it is very hard to know just what Kerrigan was assigned to do to help cover up weakness. We have seen him cover the flats, set the edge, rush the passer, cover TE’s, play zone, bump the slot WR off the line and at times said WTF is he doing over there! He seems to have all the “great team mate” boxes checked off in his favor, stays out of the head lines for the wrong reasons and avoids drama. My only concern is over paying him for being one of the best on a poor roster but I do not think the new GM will do that. IMO his new contract will be good for both Kerrigan and the Redskins, but if you asked me just what the price should be, I would not have a clue after watching the product placed on the field the last few years. AND IMO if any of the avg fans tells you they know just what the Redskins were trying to on defense the last two years I would just laugh as the results were so poor that even NFL insiders are still scratching their heads!

    • skinsgame - May 12, 2015 at 6:31 PM

      I agree with you. If it’s good for both sides, outstanding. So make it performance based and everybody wins.

  8. bowlregard - May 12, 2015 at 10:38 AM

    Some seem to be upset that Kerrigan is about to be overpaid, but how upset would they be if management let him walk.

    • ajbus1 - May 13, 2015 at 12:45 PM

      Some people just like to complain and/or argue. Bottom line is you pay your core players. Kerrigan deserves every penny McC gives him.

      • skinsgame - May 13, 2015 at 5:50 PM

        Every penny. That’s just silly. You have no idea what the future holds and if McGruber thinks like that, the club is already doomed.

        • ajbus1 - May 13, 2015 at 6:28 PM

          In what way is it silly? I didn’t even put a number on it. McC has said he will will pay a core guy like Kerrigan exactly what he’s worth and yes, Kerrigan is deserving. What if the salary IS in the 8 million range with incentives as you would like? If that’s what our GM thinks he’s worth and the player/agent agree, then that is what he’s worth and deserves he EVERY PENNY of that. In order to be a successful GM you have to identify the players you want to build around and that their arrow is pointing up. Kerrigan gets both check marks on those. You don’t wait until a guy is already All-Pro like you seem to think. Then he and his agent will expect an even bigger pay day. Rich said it earlier: “I think Kerrigan will seem overpaid in the beginning of the contract and underpaid by the end of it.” So by the time he is an “All-Pro game changer”, you have him under contract for a good price. This organization has a terrible reputation for over paying players based on past performances and McC is much smarter than that. And let me also point out that just because a team is 4-12 doesn’t mean there aren’t any good players that deserve a good contract. The team will never get anywhere if you don’t retain your best players.

        • skinsgame - May 13, 2015 at 9:33 PM

          I misunderstood what you meant when you said “every penny”. I took it to mean , “anything goes” figure-wise. We’ll see how shrewd Scot is with contracts now.

        • ajbus1 - May 14, 2015 at 1:18 PM

          Right on. I’m not for overpaying anyone either and I have faith we’ll lock up Kerrigan with a fair contract.

  9. CavemanCatching - May 12, 2015 at 1:45 PM

    RK was #2 in the NFC in sacks (one behind leader Connor Barwin) and #7 overall this past season. How in the heck did he not get a Pro Bowl invite?

    • bangkokben - May 12, 2015 at 3:20 PM

      4-12 pretty much seals it.

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