Who’s Coming Back: Defensive Ends/Outside Linebackers

Previously: Defensive Tackles

This is the second part of a series in which I list who will make our 53-man roster next year.  Having watched and charted almost every snap this season I feel somewhat qualified to blog an amateur opinion on the matter.  Today’s position group is defensive ends (in our system they also double as outside linebackers.)

Washington kept six defensive ends on their roster this season so that’s the number I’m assuming we will keep for next year.

Holy Lock To Come Back Next Year:

Kerrigan: The only thing that would cause the team to part ways with Kerrigan is his base salary.  In 2018 it will be $9 million and then it goes up to $10.5 million in 2019 and $11.5 million in 2020.  His guarantees work to about $7 million against the cap next year so any initial discussions about a departure won’t happen until 2019.

Smith: He’s been quiet the last few weeks, but a low cap number plus his overall body of work places him as a safe bet to get at least a share of starter snaps.

Anderson: Has an easy to digest rookie contract and continues to pack on strength.  His initial role seems to be a rotational player that sets the edge against the run.

Will Most Likely Return Next Year:

Murphy: On IR, obviously his future depends on how well he heals.  His ability to stop the run was a plus.  If he shows the capacity to recreate his nine sack effort from 2016 he becomes a holy lock to come back.


Galette: He has gotten a couple of nice pressures over the previous two weeks but his overall body of work is wanting.  His best attribute is his low base salary.  If we skip on bringing in a high dollar FA and forgo drafting an edge rusher, I could see Galette sneaking back on the roster with another short term contract that pays close to the veteran minimum.

Pete Robertson: Just signed a three year deal for $1.5 million last month.  It’s a small cap hit if we cut him but his contract firmly slots him as a special teams guy.

Best of Luck In Your Future Endeavors:

Chris Carter: Gruden went out of his way to praise his special teams contributions but he only has a one year deal and is the first man out if we make any offseason acquisitions.   If Murphy can heal and we bring back Galette his circumstances are not favorable for a return.