Continuing to purge their roster of veteran talent heading towards a massive rebuilding effort, the Oakland Raiders reportedly will release veteran defensive end Bruce Irvin on Monday.
Could Irvin, who broke into the league as a first-round pick for the Seahawks in 2012, return to the Pacific Northwest to help the team's pass rush? To avoid any potential tampering entanglements, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll took the high road when asked about the possibility on his Monday radio show.
"We’re always watching the release wire and see what happens." Carroll said. "Nothing specific about this one yet.''
Now in his seventh NFL season, Irvin turned 31 years old last Thursday and wouldn't be viewed as a long-term solution to Seattle's pass rushing inconsistencies.
However, Irvin has played most of his career under the guidance of current Seahawks defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. and he did record 15.0 sacks and 27 quarterback hits during the 2016 and 2017 seasons for Oakland. Stuck on a team that would be best classified as a dumpster fire, he's still managed to register 3.0 sacks despite seeing a reduction in snaps as the season has progressed.
He's also a turnover machine, as Irvin led the NFL with six forced fumbles only two short years ago as the Raiders won 12 games and reached the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.
Reuniting with Norton Jr. in Seattle, Irvin would provide extra flexibility for the Seahawks defensively heading into the second half of the season. He can put his hand in the dirt and rush off the edge as a defensive end while also playing quality football as a SAM linebacker in coverage, though Barkevious Mingo has filled that role well this year.
If the Seahawks want this reunion to happen, they'll first have to wait for Irvin to clear waivers after his release becomes official. Carrying a cap hit north of $3 million for the rest of the season, teams likely won't be rushing to claim him at that price.
Once he's cleared waivers, he would become a free agent and could negotiate with any NFL team, creating the opportunity for Seattle to pursue him at a cheaper price for the final eight games. Other pass-rush needy contenders such as the Packers and Patriots are expected to be in the mix as well.