Bruce Irvin’s Time In Seattle Appears To Be Running Short, What Next at OLB?


It has been known for some time now that the Seattle Seahawks have a big decision to make with versatile linebacker, Bruce Irvin. His fifth-season team-option would require the Seahawks to give him $7.75 million for the 2016 season, and the deadline for making that decision is this weekend.

Two tweets were posted yesterday that add up to paint a pretty clear picture that Irvin’s long-term future in the NFL probably isn’t in Seattle.  First came this from Ian Rapoport:

Then this from Bruce Irvin himself.

It’s not exactly proof, but the report from one of the more reliable NFL insiders and a cryptic tweet from Bruce himself are enough to realize that Seattle isn’t going to be paying him what this option demands.

More from Emerald City Swagger

The Seahawks already lost Malcolm Smith this off-season, so there isn’t another proven strong-side linebacker on the roster. And Irvin’s versatility in particular will be sorely missed. His ability to rush the passer with the explosiveness that he has, as well as being a really good coverage linebacker with great instincts gives flexibility to the Seattle defense that is irreplaceable.

Mike Morgan and Kevin Pierre-Louis will be competing for the job in 2016 if a significant move isn’t made. And the Seahawks defense would probably be alright if that becomes the situation. Pierre-Louis’ athleticism and range and Morgan’s rock-solid tackling would make a decent platoon, but the ‘Hawks would definitely be down a play-maker.

It is possible that the Seahawks offer Bruce Irvin a completely new contract in lieu of this fifth-year option. But the offer would more than likely be below his market value because the Seahawks also have Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner’s soon-to-expire contracts to worry about.

Pro Football Talk reported that there is “chatter” indicating a possible trade with the Atlanta Falcons, where Irvin would reunite with Dan Quinn. Seattle probably can’t expect more than a fifth-round pick for Irvin, given the fact that it is now common knowledge that they don’t want to pick up his $7.75 million option.

The draft begins tonight, and Seattle is without a first-round pick. However, with the direction the NFL is moving defensively, just about all of the first-round outside linebackers are built for a 3-4 scheme anyway. Here are couple of guys that I think fit well for the Seahawks and will be available on Friday and Saturday. Seattle has nine picks on Saturday, so expect at least one to used to add depth at OLB.

Shaq Thompson would also be a solid option if he were to somehow fall into Seattle’s lap at No. 63.

All of these options are no doubt being weighed by Pete Carroll, John Schneider and the rest of the Seattle front office. But with the draft about to begin, and the decision on Irvin’s option due by Sunday, we will know the answers to these questions soon.

Next: Seattle Seahawks Mock Draft 2015: Complete 7 Round Predictions

Next: Seattle Seahawks 2015 NFL Draft: Ten Options With the 63rd Pick

Next: Seattle Seahawks 2015 NFL Draft: Ten Options With the 95th Pick

More from Emerald City Swagger