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The Seahawks could use Ryan Kerrigan, but Washington could be hesitant to move on

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Washington Football Team Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

With a lethargic pass rush and little indication it will improve, save for the return of a safety who excels at blitzing in Jamal Adams, the obsession over improving the Seahawks’ pass rush has continued among fans and observers.

In the seemingly never-ending quest to find a proper edge rusher, still in the wake of the Frank Clark trade, attention has turned in large to Ryan Kerrigan ahead of the November 3rd trade deadline. The Washington Football Team veteran is an obvious trade candidate: at 32-years-old, he doesn’t fit the timeline of a full-scale rebuild, and the single strength of Washington’s roster is the defensive line, where they boast four first-round picks (excluding Kerrigan), as well as a second-round pick.

The young, stacked defensive line in Washington has led to a downturn in reps for Kerrigan this year, as he has played less than 40% of the defense’s snaps despite appearing in all six games. In the final year of his deal, the long-time Washington defender could be on his way out at the end of the season. So, why wouldn’t the team move on early and at least get a pick, in the midst of a rebuild, in return?

While the rebuild in Washington is why a Kerrigan trade could be seen as logical, it is also a part of why they may not be interested in trading him at all. What Ron Rivera is undergoing in Washington right now goes well beyond a standard rebuild—he isn’t just trying to retool a roster but repair a fractured, deeply flawed franchise. Who better to not only help Rivera be an agent of change in Washington but also to help mentor the young talent on their defensive line than Kerrigan, the franchise’s all-time leader in sacks and a former Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year candidate?

The value Kerrigan brings to Washington for the remainder of the 2020 season goes far beyond his impact on the field, where he could be seen as surplus to requirements. Off the field, for the organization, Kerrigan is the type of leader and man the franchise needs right now. That value and the long-lasting impact he will have on the future of the franchise, as well as on young stars like Chase Young and Montez Sweat, is surely worth more than the mid-round selection they would receive for cutting ties with a franchise legend a few months early.

A hypothetical trade between Washington and Seattle, to send Kerrigan to the Seahawks, makes sense—but just for one of the sides that would be involved. Unfortunately for Seattle, that likely means continuing to search elsewhere for answers to the questions still hanging over their pass rush.