Should the Seahawks look at bringing Bruce Irvin back to Seattle?
Pass rush is the name of the game for the Seahawks offseason and while a reunion with one former Seattle defensive lineman, Michael Bennett, has been discussed by the 710 ESPN staff, another former Seahawk made a bit of a social media splash by seemingly implying that he would be open to coming back to the Pacific Northwest.
Bruce Irvin, who played both defensive end and outside linebacker for the Seahawks from 2012 to 2015, is a free agent and is coming off a career year with the Carolina Panthers where he had 8.5 sacks.
When one Seattle fan posted on Twitter that they wanted to start a “bring Bruce Irvin back to Seattle” campaign, Irvin responded to the tweet with an emoji of a person shouting. The emoji is typically used for something along the lines of “keep talking that talk,” or, simply put, “I agree, so keep pushing that line of thought.”
— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) February 27, 2020
During his four years in Seattle, Irvin, the No. 15 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, tallied 22 sacks, three interceptions, four forced fumbles and 25 tackles for loss. He was the Seahawks’ first draft pick in the same class that brought both quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner to Seattle.
Irvin, 32, would have greatly helped the Seahawks in 2019. Rasheem Green led Seattle with 4 sacks in 2019 and the team had just 28 in the regular season. Irvin’s 8.5 sacks would have been far and away the best on the team.
He’s once again a free agent, and after tweeting he was thinking about moving to Los Angeles, former Seahawks star safety Kam Chancellor told him to “come on back west,” which Irvin seemed to appreciate.
🤔🤔dont tempt me bam bam https://t.co/I0WQtd4S3Y
— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) February 21, 2020
With the Seahawks in desperate need of pass rushers for 2020, especially if Jadeveon Clowney and/or Jarran Reed leave in free agency, should Seattle try and bring Irvin back to where he started his career?
“I don’t think so,” Danny O’Neil of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant said when asked if he thinks a reunion will happen. “And the reason why is this will be the third time that Bruce is available.”
After Irvin’s four years with the Seahawks, he signed with the Oakland Raiders, where he played in 2016, 2017 and for eight games in 2018. He was released halfway through the 2018 season and had a chance to re-sign with the Seahawks, but he chose to finish the year with the Atlanta Falcons, whose head coach is former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. He also could have returned last offseason, but signed with Carolina.
“There’s something that just hasn’t lined up yet, even though there’s been opportunities,” O’Neil said.
O’Neil says a big hang up could be that Pete Carroll and his coaching staff still don’t view Irvin as a pass rusher. Irvin was drafted as a defensive end and started there but was converted to a more traditional outside linebacker role.
“He wants to rush the passer and I don’t know if now, six years later after watching him leave to decide ‘you know what? We’ll bring him back and turn him loose and have him rush the passer,'” O’Neil said. “I just think that that question, in some ways, has been asked and answered when it comes to him.”
Gallant said the Seahawks could look to bring Irvin back as a linebacker due to question marks with Mychal Kendricks, who is a free agent and is recovering from an ACL tear.
O’Neil says he would rather see younger players, like 2019 rookies Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven, wind up playing more snaps on defense over someone like Irvin due to age and cost.
The official free agency period begins March 18.
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