Rumors are flying that the Seattle Seahawks and Bruce Irvin could be parting ways via free agency, a new report from NBC Sports detailed Monday.
With the NFL’s season kicking off March 9, several rumors have been circulating about what players and what teams would involved in the free agency period. Bruce Irvin – a pass rusher specialist out of West Virginia University – appears to be the most-likely athlete from the Seattle Seahawks to be leaving.
The rumors started when the Seattle Seahawks declined to pick up the fifth-year option on the player’s contract last year. While those reports in 2015 made the Atlanta Falcons a logical landing place, new rumors have Bruce Irvin leaving the West Coast for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the article reported. Reuniting with current Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley – who was the defensive coordinator that guided the Seattle Seahawks during Irvin’s first season – could become a priority for Bruce.
“Per a league source, Jacksonville is one of the teams to watch next week, when the time comes for the former West Virginia standout to hit the market. Jaguars coach Gus Bradley was the defensive coordinator in Seattle during Irvin’s rookie year, during which he recorded eight sacks.”
While Bruce Irvin has not been a bust for the Seattle Seahawks, his production has dwindled from his career-high eight sacks in 2012. Since then, he has managed only 14 more sacks for the two-time Super Bowl participants, ranking him third among all pass rushers selected in the 2012 draft.
One reason his sack total has suffered is his move from defensive end to outside linebacker in 2013 for the Seattle Seahawks, Bleacher Report explained. Moving to a new team could mean Bruce Irvin could return to a position he excelled at in college and his rookie season.
The only way for the Seattle Seahawks to avoid losing Bruce Irvin would be to place the franchise tag on the young pass rusher. That seems unlikely with 16 other players who will be unrestricted free agents, ESPN Seattle reported this week.
While rumors suggest the Seattle Seahawks would not hesitate to resign the talented player, the issue remains the money necessary to keep Bruce Irvin. By decline the fifth-year option, the team nixed a $7.8 million one-year deal. After signing linebackers K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner to contract extensions in the past 15 months, money for a third pass-rusher of this caliber is not available without sacrificing several other free agents.
Immediately after the season, Bruce Irvin and the Seattle Seahawks appeared close to coming together on a new deal, but money was the main sticking point. A source close to the situation suggested that Irvin wanted a deal at or slightly less than his fifth-year option would have paid, but the Seattle Seahawks management team did not appear ready to meet that price tag for Bruce.
Currently, Bruce Irvin is ranked as a top-15 free agent by NFL‘s Gregg Rosenthal and Chris Wessling. Irvin’s value to the team could rise, however, as some of the players on the list have rumors swirling the athlete will receive the franchise tag.
The Jacksonville Jaguars ranked no. 24 in total defense in 2015, and adding an athlete like Bruce Irvin could help the young core continue to grow. Putting Irvin on a defensive line that includes Dante Fowler Jr. and up-and-coming linebacker Telvin Smith could give the Jaguars a look similar to the defenses Gus Bradley guided for the Seattle Seahawks.
Bruce Irvin is sure to be a sought-after free agent unlike another player who could be looking for another team in the near future in quarterback Johnny Manziel. Multiple rumors have the Cleveland Browns appear ready to sack their experiment with the former Heismann winning gunslinger, The Inquisitr recently reported.
What do you think about the rumors that the Seattle Seahawks and Bruce Irvin will part ways during the free agency period? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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