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A Washington football legend has decided to retire with the Commanders, as the team announced that former pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan will sign a one-day contract with Washington and call it a career. Kerrigan spent last season with the rival Philadelphia Eagles, but will return to D.C. to retire with the franchise that drafted him with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

"Sometimes I think about the life that I've been able to live because of football, and I can't believe it's me that's been chosen to live it," Kerrigan said in a statement. "No matter how long I played and no matter how focused I was on the task at hand, I thankfully never lost sight of just how cool it is to be an NFL player. Pulling up to FedEx Field on game day and seeing so many people there in my jersey was just about as cool (as) it gets. And to have had the success that I was able to have? Something I never in my wildest dreams could have envisioned. To say I'm thankful would be quite the understatement."

The Purdue product spent 10 seasons with Washington and was named to four Pro Bowls. Kerrigan became the franchise's all-time leader in sacks in his final season in 2020, leaving Washington with 95.5 quarterback takedowns. He recorded double-digit sacks in four seasons as well, and was a model of consistency, playing in every game for his first eight NFL seasons. 

"While I'm thankful for the amazing times and memories I was able to have as a player, I'm equally thankful to now have the wisdom and courage to walk away," Kerrigan said. "We all eventually come to the end of our playing days, and that time is now for me."

Kerrigan had always wanted to retire with Washington, saying as much prior to the 2020 season, when he had just one year remaining on his contract.

"I obviously hope to be here for the duration of my football career, however long that is," Kerrigan said. "I've gotten to talk to coach Rivera a couple of times over the phone, haven't really been able to meet him in person yet because of the whole lockdown and what not. Hopefully I'm here for the long haul. I want to be here. They know where I stand and I want to be here."

Kerrigan played 156 career games for Washington, and recorded 454 combined tackles, 95.5 sacks, 26 forced fumbles and three interceptions -- all returned for touchdowns.