Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin told BlackSportsOnline.com on May 13 he will be joining the Atlanta Falcons in 2016.
Bruce Irvin is joining the Atlanta Falcons in 2016.
This was what the Seattle Seahawks linebacker, an Atlanta native, told BlackSportsOline's Samuel Logan while he was watching an Atlanta Hawks vs. Washington Wizards playoff game on May 13.
"I'm going to be in Atlanta next season. I'm ready," Irvin told Logan. "Atlanta is where I want to be. Believe that."
Logan stresses the Seahawks informed Irvin they will not pick up the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. Former Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is now the coach of the Falcons, so the impending move to Atlanta "makes sense" for Irvin, per BlackSportsOnline.com.
ESPN's Terry Blount says had the Seahawks picked up that fifth-year option, it would have cost them $7.8 million. Irvin has a $1.6 million salary-cap hit for the 2015 NFL season.
Blount also confirms Irvin "woud like to play" for Quinn.
The Seattle Times' Bob Condotta explains why the Seahawks did not pick up Irvin's fifth-year option:
"Seattle declined the option in large part due to wanting (to) work out a deal that would allow for a softer salary cap number in 2016, with the Seahawks also facing the challenge of extending Russell Wilson's contract, as well as middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, both of which would likely add significant hits to the cap beginning in 2016.
"Irvin could hold out or something like that in the hopes of forcing a trade to Atlanta -- which is not only his hometown but also now coached by former Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Otherwise, he's a Seahawk in 2015.
"Beyond that, though, obviously is in question, and was before irvin said what he did last night."
On the other hand, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Stephen Cohen lists several options which Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider can resort to:
- Trade: With this option, Cohen says the Seahawks most possibly will get a late-round draft selection in exchange. However, if they deal Irvin, Cohen stresses "they also wouldn't have to answer questions about Irvin's status with the team throughout the season."
- Cut: The SeattlePI.com report states this would be a viable option should team management determine Irvin's presence would be detrimental to the team this season. This means the Falcons would acquire Irvin a year ealier than expected. However, Schneider cautions this wouldn't be too realistic as the Seahawks have nobody to replace him in the pass rush.
- Bench: Cohen says Seattle could also let Irvin ride the bench during the 2015 NFL season which could potentially result in his stock plummeting when he hits the market in 2016.
- Play: According to Cohen, "this seems like the most likely option" as it would work out in favor of both sides.
Faced way tougher adversity getting outta them streets coming up! That's shit is nothing! FUCK THAT OPTION!— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) May 4, 2015
Logan also says rumors of Irvin moving to the Falcons have persisted during the offseason. For their part, the Seahawks are still trying to work out a deal which would make this possible.
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said he hasn't really thought about getting Irvin since he is still has an active contract with the Seahawks, per ESPN.
The 27-year-old Irvin has amassed 93 tackles, 16.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and three interceptions in 43 career regular-season games for the Seattle Seahawks, per ESPN stats.
Irvin is a member of the Seahawks' Super Bowl XLVIII Super Bowl championship team which beat the Denver Broncos in the 2013 title game.
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