The Oakland Raiders released edge-rusher Bruce Irvin earlier this week and after he cleared waivers he had several teams interested in signing him. The Pittsburgh Steelers were reportedly one off those teams but the 31-year-old decided to sign a one-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons instead.
Irvin told Falcons beat writer Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com that the Steelers and New England Patriots were in the mix to sign him.
“This was a dream [come] true. The Patriots and Steelers offered more money, but being able to play for my city and my people, you just can’t put a price on that.” Irvin said of his decision to sign with the Falcons
Irvin led Raiders with three sacks in 234 snaps played prior to them parting ways with him on Monday. He also had 4 quarterback hits and a forced fumble to his credit. For his career, Irvin has 40 career sacks and 15 forced fumbles.
The fact that Irvin cleared waivers isn’t too surprising being as he had $3.8 million still owed to him for 2018 as part of his contract with the Raiders. The fact that Irvin decided to sign with the Falcons also wasn’t surprisingly being as he’s familiar with Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn. Quinn was previously the Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator and Irvin played for him for three seasons there.
Had the Steelers been able to sign Irvin they would have only likely used him as a situational pass-rusher or occasional speller to starters Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt. Currently, backup outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo is spelling the team’s two starters on the outside and the Steelers only have those three that play that particular position on their 53-man roster.
While Irvin doesn’t say, it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that the Steelers offer to him of “more money” was somehow related to him having to sign a two-year contract and thus lock himself up for more than just one season. With him choosing the Falcons one-year offer, he can test free agency again in March and perhaps find a team willing to pay him more.
The #Falcons are paying pass-rusher Bruce Irvin $3.2M prorated on a 1-year deal, source said. He’ll make $1.5M over 8 games, indicative of how strong his market was. He double-dips from the #Raiders. OAK pays the $3.8M left ($8.25M total), add in ATL’s $1.5M = $9.75M for 2018.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 7, 2018
Man it’s time! You can’t put a price on the chance for me to play for my people and city! It’s bigger than money!
— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) November 7, 2018