Bruce Irvin prepares to cash in on open market


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.

75 responses to “Bruce Irvin prepares to cash in on open market

  1. 10 million annually? Really? I am a Seahawks fan, and love his game, but I do not see him garnering $10+ m/yr. He is versatile and can play both DE and OLB in a 4-3 defense. I could also see a 3-4 team seeing him as a perfect fit for the OLB pass rush position. So who knows really. He will be an interesting case in free agency.

  2. I hope NO gets him. All he would have to do is put on glasses and Cam would have nightmares thinking he was Von Miller.

  3. Cam Wake will also, sadly, be available soon. Miami won’t be able to keep him with Donkeys ridiculous salary cap number. Old but still the best pass rusher who will be available.

  4. “Cam Wake will also, sadly, be available soon.”

    And he had 7 sacks last year, so by the logic in this article he’ll get what, 12 mil a year ?

  5. If 5 and half sacks is worth $10m, that GM will be fired soon shortly thereafter.

    He wasn’t used as a pass rusher all the time. He played more OLB than DE, and in a 4-3, that means you are playing the run and in coverage more often then pass rushing. They played him at DE in obvious pass rushing downs when the slid Bennett inside.

  6. Who has a mountain of available cap space, desperately needs pass rush, runs a similar defense, and has a coach who used to be Irvin’s DC? Your Jacksonville Jaguars!

  7. I hope NO gets him. All he would have to do is put on glasses and Cam would have nightmares thinking he was Von Miller.

    To further this point, 7 of Bruce’s 25.5 career sacks (including playoffs) have been against Cam Newton.

  8. If Ken Norton can use/wants him, we have a spot. Up to Reggie to get creative with the contract.


  9. Bruce Irvin is going to be a 10 plus sack DE. In Seattle’s scheme he is rushing the passer in nickel situation. The rest is dropping in coverage and playing the run – which he is damn good at after being pushed around a little in that area his rookie year.

    The guy is an athletic freak. Falcons or Jaguars both should have a role for him. Certain guys will have to walk due to cap space, thankfully Seattle drafted Frank Clark last year. Bruccccccceeeeeeeee!

  10. Irvin is a very good player and the Hawks will miss him. Sack stats aren’t the true measure of someone in his position – rushing, covering , etc.

  11. The NFL is, and always has been, a copycat league.
    GM’s will now try to copy the Defense First policy when drafting and signing free agents.
    Like a rising tide in the harbor raises all ships, Von Miller will lift all pass rushers value to hefty paydays. It’s a good time to be a speedy OLB or DE.

  12. I sure hope Bill locks up Jamie Collins and Dante Hightower before the money starts flying around. Von Miller wants to be the highest paid defensive player. Irvin at $10 mil?

  13. He should sign with the team that almost beat him in the wildcard round, and the the team that should have beat him in the Vikings. He can play indoors for 10 out of 16 games and use his speed on the turf at the new US Bank Stadium.

  14. harrisonhits2 says:
    Feb 10, 2016 12:00 PM
    “Cam Wake will also, sadly, be available soon.”

    And he had 7 sacks last year, so by the logic in this article he’ll get what, 12 mil a year ?

    7 sacks in 7 games. the first 4 games were Philbins last. Cam is a monster. He’s worth whatever he can get. Fins will miss him A LOT.

  15. Let Jacksonville, Atlanta and Oakland get into a bidding war over his contract. Seattle isn’t gonna overpay. Why they drafted marsh and Clark.
    Thanks for the memories, can’t hate and athlete for cashing in

  16. solid starter, and a good athlete who is better in pass coverage than you would think. never developed into a great pass rusher though, gets eaten up by the big tackles.

    will be a loss, but he’s not a star/unreplaceable type of player. can’t pay everyone.

  17. Falcons. He wanted to go there last year. They just cut Justin Durant (and Williams Moore). Plus, they need pass rushers BAD. Not sure about the $10MM per, though. But he won’t go hungry.

  18. pftmaniac- maybe you should look at who the Hawks have locked up long term, it is their stars. That is why Vegas has them as one of the 3 favorites in the SB next year. Seattle has a knack for finding diamonds in the rough. Irvin is good but he is easily replaceable with Marsh and Clark. Same goes with Cam. I’m all for these guys getting what they can if its all about the $$ to them. Look at those ex-hawks from the SB team that have moved on and where they are today. non-payoff teams which means no playoff $ or possible bonus in their contract. Also Washington has no state income tax, 8 games a year you are not taxed and if you have a playoff game in Seattle that $ is not taxed. Its a fine line these guys walk when deciding if its better to bolt a playoff team for more money.

  19. If Baalke was smarter than a bag of hammers I’d say go after Irvin and Trevathan from the Broncos.

    But he’s not say we’ll most likely waste cap space on some low level cast off and waste a top pick on a reach of a project …. but we’ll do it with CLASS!

  20. jaxasc84 says:
    Feb 10, 2016 12:09 PM
    Who has a mountain of available cap space, desperately needs pass rush, runs a similar defense, and has a coach who used to be Irvin’s DC? Your Jacksonville Jaguars!

    This guy gets it. It’s off to Jacksonville or Atlanta for Bruce.

  21. Mario Williams will probably be the biggest name pass rusher available this year which may eclipse some of Irvin’s opportunity. Highly unlikely the Bills will retain him as they have very little cap space and he doesn’t fit the current scheme (sadly).

  22. As a Seahawk fan, before this past year I wouldn’t have been too bummed if we lost him. But he put on some weight in the offseason and had a really good year last year and I’ll definitely miss him if he leaves. It’d be awesome if Seattle could keep him, but because of market value for those pass rushers, it’d be hard and I don’t blame him at all if he wants to go somewhere else to get paid.

  23. 10m? Really? He is great for the Seattle system but unsure elsewhere. JS will offer him a 5m deal, he will walk, take a 8m deal somewhere else and get cut. Watch how this unfolds.

  24. For one reason or another, Irvin’s performance didn’t match up to his first round billing.

    He became a project in Seattle and didn’t play smart enough. He’s always played with a lot of emotion and not enough smarts.

  25. 5.5 sacks from an OLB in a 4-3 scheme isn’t bad. He is not a every down DE. He strictly rished the passer on obvious passing downs. He is an above avg linebacker who really should be making 8-10 mil at most. At least the team who gets him will get him during his prime.

  26. Seattle would be wise to not kill their own cap by trying to sign everyone to all pro contracts.

  27. Irving is a very good athlete but has very limited pass rush skills. If he could rush the passer the Seahawks would have him doing that

  28. His market value exceeds his value to the Seahawks’ and that is good for him. Glad another Seahawk seems to be getting an opportunity to benefit from being on the team and showing his worth.

    The Seahawks will endeavor to find another young player to replace him and a few others that undoubtedly will not return next season. With estimated 9 draft choices and the history demonstrated in finding undrafted quality players, they (Schneider/Carroll) just may do that…….

  29. It’s also safe to say that someone paying him more than he deserves will not be Ted Thompson in Green Bay.

  30. He’ll get overpaid by somebody but he’s done a lot better in the league than I thought he would.

  31. How is someone with 5.5 sacks in line for a $10M a year payday?

    I don’t know what the fascination is with this guy. He was overdrafted, played like someone who should have been drafted much later, and now is about to get overpaid.

    And your pretzel logic is a little baffling. If teams are, in fact, making getting after the QB a priority, why wouldn’t they go after someone who could, you know, get after the QB?

  32. LOL!

    On a deal that will easily surpass $10m annually….

    I guarantee that whatever deal he signs, it will not be worth an average of $10m a year. Maybe in the first year some team will pay him a guaranteed lump sum up front, but $10m average???

    There are 4 OLBs scheduled to clear $10m next year.

    Justin Houston at $16m
    Ryan Kerrigan at $11.5m
    Levonte David at $10.5m
    Demarcus Ware at $10m

    Those 4 players were all roughly at the same figures in 2015… How’d that work out for their respective teams?

    Well, Justin Houston was hurt almost the whole year and was basically a non-factor. He should bounce back in 2016, but $16m is an absurdly high sum for any outside pass rusher.

    Ryan Kerrigan had a good year. 9.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 33 tackles. That’s a great year for a guy getting paid $6-8m a year. For a guy getting paid $11.5m, I would have liked to see more 3-4 more forced fumbles, 1-2 picks, some deflected passes, and a couple more sacks.

    Lavonte David only had 3 sacks in 2015. That’s pathetic. He had 2 forced fumbles. He did have 84 tackles, double digit pass deflections and 3 interceptions with a pick 6. All said, I feel like he contributed just as much, if not more than Kerrigan. Still, $10.5m for 3 sacks? Wow.

    Demarcus Ware missed 25% of the 2015 season, but he still managed to put up 7.5 sacks. He only had 17 tackles, 2 forced fumbles and deflected zero passes. HOWEVER, once in the playoffs, he added 3.5 more sacks and basically played like an animal in the Super Bowl. Of all the players on here, I would say Ware may have had the biggest impact on his team for the $ spent, as he was part of a devastating pass rush tandem with Miller and Wolfe. Big money players show up in big games and Ware did.

    So, if these guys generally got paid over $10m and under performed their contracts, and when Irvin’s teammates Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril both make around $8m a year, and KJ Wright and Bobby Wagner make around $6.5m per year, HOW does Bruce Irvin magically receive these $10m+ a year offers????

    I get that the salary cap is going up, and I get that pass rushers are at a premium, but here’s the thing… Bruce Irvin isn’t a very effective pass rusher at DE. He does much better rushing from a standing up, OLB position. He may have improved some with his hand on the ground technique and center of gravity etc. but when the Hawks tried to start him at DE in the 2012 playoffs, he got abused by opposing tackles, got crushed on run plays and barely even touched the QB. He may have added some muscle and what not, but he’s clearly much better at OLB than he is at DE. So, unless your defense is one that routinely blitzes your OLBs, you aren’t going to get $10m+ worth of pass rushing out of Irvin. You might get $8m worth of pass rush, run support and TE zone coverage though.

    I’ll admit… I have been hoping that the Hawks find a way to re-sign Irvin, and I am happy to see Mebane go, and unless he is willing to sign a contract that matches his inconsistent availability, injury history and inconsistent play, Russell Okung can go too, IF that means they can lock Irvin up to a 4-5 year deal. That would lock in all 3 LBs, and Irvin is always a valuable insurance policy at the LEO-DE in case Avril or Bennett gets injured or can’t be re-signed. HOWEVER, Anything more than $8m per year is ridiculous. It’s just not fair to pay Irvin more than KJ Wright, when KJ is the more valuable, longer tenured player. But, if it’s the difference between keeping him or not, I could be OK with a 4 year, $35m type of deal with performance incentives and such.

    If the above isn’t rich enough for Irvin’s taste and some stupid team out there wants to overpay for a guy who I could absolutely see cashing it in if he left the Seahawks on a big payday, then go right ahead. The Hawks will need to really develop Kevin Pierre-Louis and hope Mike Morgan can fill in as well. Frank Clark and Marsh are both too big to step back to LB, and I’m not sure Avril is capable of playing up either. Anyhow, we wouldn’t want Avril defending RBs etc… the guys a leopard, let him hunt.

    Rant over.

  33. Ann the awful days of being a Football fan…the manufacturing of a news story. Irvin is nowhere near a 10 mil player. His current coach knows it, as does his previous two D coordinators in Dan Quinn and Gus Bradley. He is a fine situational player but that doesn’t equal $10 mil a year.

  34. First off, Seattle doesn’t have a player on their roster like Irvin. He’s a 260 pound outside linebacker/defensive end hybrid. You can’t put Marsh or Clark in Irvin’s role and expect them to be able to be as effective in both pass rush, and pass coverage like Irvin is. That being said, I don’t think the Hawks will be able to retain him because he’s going to be the top outside LB on the market this off season. Sure there are some big names on that free agent list, but those other big names are either old (Greenway and Hali), or have problems with staying out of legal trouble (Aldon Smith). Von Miller could be a free agent but all signs point to Denver using the tag on him which means that if Seattle is going to keep him, they will have to give him a HUGE contract and I just can’t see Schneider doing that.

    Time to get comfortable with him leaving Seattle I’m afraid.

  35. Everyone keeps on taking are tough guys.two years ago we kicked everyones butt!and now there are 6 to 8 teams that are just as tough n tougher than us.ah parody…it sux!

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