Bruce Irvin has heard the rumors that the linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks was headed out of town at the stroke of 2 p.m. Wednesday – the official time free agents can sign a contract with a new team.
Bruce Irvin, for his part, has indicated his desire that the rumors remain just that – rumors. Speaking to the ESPN radio affiliate in Seattle, Irvin told the radio interviewers that he hopes to remain with the Seahawks.
“I mean, I love Seattle, and I want to spend the rest of my career there. Like I always say, those guys took a chance on me when everybody wasn’t even thinking about me. I probably would have gone second, third round. So those guys will always have a place in my heart, a special place.”
While Bruce is open about his feelings for the Seattle area, the money Irvin seeks remains at the forefront of the discussion to retain the pass-rushing specialist out of West Virginia University. If the Seahawks can remain competitive with other offers, Bruce anticipates playing his home games, for the foreseeable future, at CenturyLink Field.
“So like I said, if the money was close, I would definitely consider it because the brotherhood I have with those guys, it’s like no other. I’m as close to most of those guys as I am with my real brothers, so leaving those guys would be very hard on me, but not only me, my family also.”
The salary cap space is there for Bruce Irvin to return to the Seattle Seahawks this year. NFL reporter Conor Orr noted that the Seahawks have $20 million to spend before reaching the cap, but that doesn’t include any deal the team is working on with Michael Bennett.
The question then becomes if enough money exists between all the moves Seattle wishes to make to bring back Bruce Irvin. There would be no questions surrounding Bruce Irvin had the Seattle Seahawks picked up the fifth-year option on the original contract last year. After the team declined to do so, Bruce Irvin announced in May that he may seek a new home, targeting the Atlanta Falcons and a reunion with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as a possibility.
Even this year, rumors surfaced that the Seahawks’ four-year veteran would like to reunite with one of his former coaches, but this time the rumors had Bruce Irvin heading to the Jacksonville Jaguars to play with former defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, The Inquisitr reported earlier this week.
The abrupt about-face is curious, especially as Bruce Irvin looks poised to make more money than he would have originally made with the fifth-year option from the Seattle Seahawks. CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora reported that Bruce Irvin is in line to make as much as $9 million per year, a figure about $1.5 million higher than Irvin was seeking in other reports.
The Seattle Seahawks could be looking at what the Miami Dolphins’ did this weekend as a way to resolve the situation. Reportedly, the Dolphins have restructured two contracts – including the $114 million, six-year deal Ndamukong Suh – to create space for additional defensive backfield help, The Inquisitr reported on Sunday.
The defending Super Bowl champion, the Denver Broncos, are in a similar spot as the Seattle Seahawks. After Peyton Manning made his decision to retire on Sunday, the Broncos found almost $17 million in cap space available for this year. But with three big-time potential free agents – including Brock Osweiler – Denver may be forced to choose between the players in order to sign the quarterback that will replace Manning.
What do you think about the change of heart Bruce Irvin appears to have had regarding staying with the Seattle Seahawks? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]