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Patrick Manning Kerney[1] (born December 30, 1976) is a former American football defensive end who played in the National Football League (NFL) for eleven seasons. He played college football for the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft, the thirtieth overall pick.

Patrick Kerney
refer to caption
Sacking Aaron Rodgers in 2009
No. 97
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1976-12-30) December 30, 1976 (age 42)
Trenton, New Jersey
Height:6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight:271 lb (123 kg)
Career information
High school:Watertown (CT) Taft
NFL Draft:1999 / Round: 1 / Pick: 30
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Quarterback sacks:82.5
Forced fumbles:19
Player stats at


Early yearsEdit

A native of Trenton, New Jersey, Kerney enrolled in the Taft School (CT) his sophomore, junior, and senior years after attending Princeton Day School. At Taft, Kerney was a starter in football and a two-year letterman in wrestling. Initially viewed by his coach to be too scrawny to play football, Kerney eventually became team captain and was selected Most Valuable Player while recording three sacks, one blocked punt, one interception and 84 tackles in just eight games as a junior. He had seven sacks as a sophomore defensive end. In wrestling, he placed second at the All-New England tournament as a senior. Princeton Day School named their new fitness center in honor of Kerney. The center has his signed uniform and features his number on the floor. The "Patrick Kerney '94 Fitness Center" opened in 2007.

College careerEdit

Kerney received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Virginia, where he played for coach George Welsh's Virginia Cavaliers football team from 1997 to 1999. He amassed 127 tackles and 24 sacks in his three-year college career. His 24 career sacks ranks third in Virginia history. As a junior in 1997, he made 45 tackles and registered eight sacks. In his senior year in 1998, he recorded 62 tackles and 15 sacks and helped lead the 1998 Cavaliers to a 9-3 overall record, a trip to the Peach Bowl, and a final ranking of 18th in both the Associated Press and USA Today/CNN polls. The 15 sacks led the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), ranked second in the nation, and tied the Virginia record set by Chris Slade in 1992. Football News and the Football Writers Association named him a first-team All-American at defensive end. He also earned first-team All-ACC honors. The Associated Press and The Sporting News selected him as a second-team All-American. Kerney finished second in balloting for the 1998 ACC Defensive Player of the Year by one vote to fellow Cavalier All-American Anthony Poindexter. He was also one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Award, given annually by the Football Writers Association to the nation's best defensive player. He finished second in the ACC and 10th nationally with 21 tackles for loss.

Kerney was originally recruited to play lacrosse[2] and he was a defenseman on the Virginia lacrosse team in 1996 and 1997. He was a member of the 1996 Cavalier squad that advanced to the NCAA championship game and lost to Princeton 13-12 in overtime. Kerney was also a member of the 1997 team that made it to the NCAA playoffs and lost to Maryland in the quarterfinals 10-9. He did not participate in 1996 spring football practice in order to compete on the lacrosse team.[3]

On November 13, 2010, Kerney had his #58 jersey retired by the University of Virginia.

Professional careerEdit


Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 5 58 in
(1.97 m)
266 lb
(121 kg)
4.72 s 1.69 s 2.77 s 4.42 s 7.45 s 31 in
(0.79 m)
9 ft 3 in
(2.82 m)
21 reps 32
All vales from the NFL Combine[4][5]

Atlanta FalconsEdit

Kerney was drafted as the thirtieth overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons, wearing the number 97 jersey. The Falcons signed Kerney to a 5-year $5.6 million contract.[6] As a rookie, Kerney started two games (one at left defensive end and one a left defensive tackle) and recorded 25 tackles and 2.5 sacks. In 2000, Kerney was the starting left defensive end and again recorded 2.5 sacks.

In 2001, Kerney recorded 12 sacks. Early in the 2002 season, the Falcons agreed to a seven-year contract extension with Kerney. The deal, which could be voided after five seasons, included a team-record $8.5 million signing bonus. It could have been worth up to $40 million if all incentives were met.[7] He finished the 2002 season with 10.5 sacks while playing left defensive end in a 3-4 defense. He remained at that position in 2003 and recorded 6.5 sacks.

In 2004 the Falcons returned to a 4-3 defense and Kerney responded with his best season up until that time, playing the Pro Bowl for the first time and recording career-highs in tackles (66), sacks (13) and passes defensed (9). He was also voted second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press.

In 2006 Kerney moved to right defensive end as a starter and moved to left defensive end in passing situations (newly acquired free agent John Abraham played right defensive end in those situations). In Week 9 Kerney's 105-game starting streak came to an end with a torn right pectoral muscle that required surgery. (Kerney was injured while tackling Cleveland Browns tight end Steve Heiden.) The seven games he missed were the only games he has missed in his career. In Kerney's absence, Abraham was the starter at right defensive end.

Seattle SeahawksEdit

On February 23, 2007, Kerney opted out the last two years of his contract with the Atlanta Falcons to become an unrestricted free agent. On March 5, he signed a six-year, $39.5 million contract with the Seahawks that included $19.5 million in guaranteed money.

With the Seahawks in 2007 he was voted as a starter in the Pro Bowl and led the NFC in sacks with 14.5 (which set a new career-high for Kerney). Kerney also had a career-high 5 forced fumbles and recorded 62 tackles. He missed the Pro Bowl due to shoulder surgery.

On April 13, 2010, Kerney announced his retirement.

NFL statisticsEdit

Year Team Games Combined Tackles Tackles Assisted Tackles Sacks Forced Fumbles Fumble Recoveries
1999 ATL 16 25 18 7 2.5 0 0
2000 ATL 16 45 30 15 2.5 0 0
2001 ATL 16 48 38 10 12.0 2 1
2002 ATL 16 58 45 13 10.5 0 2
2003 ATL 16 45 33 12 6.5 2 3
2004 ATL 16 66 54 12 13.0 2 1
2005 ATL 16 53 38 15 6.5 3 3
2006 ATL 9 16 14 2 4.5 2 0
2007 SEA 16 60 49 11 14.5 5 0
2008 SEA 7 21 15 6 5.0 2 1
2009 SEA 15 34 23 11 5.0 2 0
Career 159 471 357 114 82.5 20 11


Personal lifeEdit

Patrick is one of six children. He has four sisters and had a brother who died when Patrick was a child. When he first entered the NFL, he set up a foundation in name of his brother called the Lt. Thomas L. Kerney Endowment Fund.[9][10] The fund provides college scholarships and financial assistance to children of fallen police officers. Kerney donates $1000 per sack he records to the foundation. He is married to former Sportscenter anchor Lisa Kerney and has been accepted to Columbia Business School's MBA program beginning in the fall of 2010.[11]


  1. ^ "Kerney on Pro-Football-Reference". Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  2. ^ Lacrosse launched Kerney's NFL path
  3. ^ 2005 Atlanta Falcons Media Guide
  4. ^ Philadelphia Inquirer, April 18, 1999
  5. ^
  6. ^ Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 26, 1999
  7. ^ Sports Network, October 11, 2002
  8. ^ "Patrick Kerney Stats". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  9. ^ Lt. Thomas L. Kerney Endowment Fund
  10. ^ Seattle
  11. ^

External linksEdit