Last year, the Seahawks could have exercised the fifth-year option on Bruce Irvin’s rookie contract. They didn’t.
With Super Bowl 50 placing an even greater premium on pass rushers, it means that Irvin will soon be leaving Seattle.
Barring a new contract or the use of the franchise tag (both of which are believed to be highly unlikely at this point), Irvin will sign elsewhere — on a deal that easily will surpass $10 million annually.
Irvin’s ability to get after the pass comes during a free-agency cycle with not many quality pass rushers even available. Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon is the other big name to watch.
A first-round pick in 2012, Irvin had eight sacks as a rookie. Last year, in a contract year, he had 5.5.
Still, the 2016 free-agent pickings are slim. And Irvin is in the right place at the right time. And it’s safe to say at this point that someone will pay him, possibly more than he deserves.
Regardless of whether Irvin deserves it, he’s going to get it. Because teams are going to make getting after the quarterback a huge priority.