It’s no surprise that the Seahawks apparently won’t pick up Bruce Irvin’s $7.75 million option. We already have pointed out why they probably wouldn’t do it.
As for the Atlanta trade rumor, it certainly makes more sense than the Michael Bennett/Atlanta rumor from a few weeks ago.
The Seahawks apparently told Danny O’Neil of 710 ESPN that they are not trying to trade Irvin, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t listening to teams asking about him.
O’Neil wrote: “Trading Irvin is not something Seattle is planning to do or has actively pursued. In other words, any ‘chatter’ about a potential trade is occurring somewhere other than Seattle’s front office. The team is planning on having Irvin back at strong-side linebacker, where he has established himself as a strong starter.”
Of course, nothing there says the Hawks are not talking to the Falcons. It is quite possible that Dan Quinn (former Seattle DC now Atlanta’s coach) initiated talks with Seattle about Irvin.
Why would the Hawks consider it? While Irvin settled into his role as a dual threat linebacker/pass rusher last year, he really doesn’t show very good judgment on the field (penalties, brawls, etc.) or off (he’s in the NFL drug program) and also has been a voice of dissension in the locker room. Like many defenders, he sided with Percy Harvin when the headache receiver was traded last season, and Irvin also was one of the fools who bought into the conspiracy theory that Pete Carroll tried to sabotage Marshawn Lynch’s MVP chances on the losing play of the Super Bowl.
Obviously, the Hawks would be fine letting Irvin play out his contract — and perhaps trying to sign him to an extension before next March. They wouldn’t want to pay more than around $6 million a year though, and he surely would like to try to parlay his growth into a big contract from a 3-4 defensive team; he probably could get more than $8 million a year.
Such a deal would net the Hawks a third-round comp pick in 2017 — which they surely would be happy to take unless they could get a second-rounder or better from the Falcons.
Atlanta has the 10th pick in the second round, and the Hawks obviously would love to have it to use on a top offensive lineman or wide receiver.
Many mock drafts have been slotting a pass rusher to Atlanta with the eighth overall pick. If they secured Irvin for their second-rounder, they could help their offensive line in the first round.
As for replacing Irvin, the Seahawks have Mike Morgan and Kevin Pierre-Louis and were already expected to take advantage of a good class of LEO-type pass rushers.