It seemed that Bruce Irvin’s recent comments suggested he was looking for a move to the Atlanta Falcons in 2016, but Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says it was a misunderstanding.
Samuel Logan of BSO Sports initially reported that Irvin would be looking for a move to Atlanta in 2016.
Per Dan Greenspan of AP.org, Carroll believes it was a misunderstanding, and that Irvin had just been working out in Atlanta:
"“I’m really glad you asked me that, because he didn’t say that,” Carroll said. “We’ve been talking all along. He has been working out in Atlanta for these three weeks, and he said (that) in response to the question ‘Do you want to come back home?’ He said everybody likes to come back home, and it’s a dream to come back home. It wasn’t in reference to leaving us and coming back (to the Falcons). He was really adamant about it, and I asked him to leave it and not go at it anymore.”"
I don’t doubt what Carroll says is true, but you would expect him to play it down as he did.
The Seahawks decided not to pick up Irvin’s fifth-year option, meaning he is set to hit free agency after the 2015 season. Ever since, speculation has been flying around that the pass rusher is looking to be reunited with Dan Quinn.
"“Obviously he’s from Atlanta and I think the media blew it out of proportion what he was saying. I don’t think he said in those exact words that I’m going to be playing for Atlanta. The guy asked him would he love to be at home playing and he said yeah.”"
Whether his comments were blown out of proportion or not, Irvin’s future in Seattle remains cloudy. The Seahawks currently sit $10.9 million under the salary cap, but will likely be looking to sign Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner to new deals — both are free agents in 2016.
The Seahawks have been fortunate that Wilson has played at such a high level while still on his rookie contract, something we don’t see often in the NFL. They were therefore able to spend the money elsewhere, but this luxury won’t be there after the 2015 season, or earlier if they extend him sooner.
Whether Wilson re-signs or the Seahawks use the franchise tag on him, a lot of money will be heading his way, which might leave Irvin to test the market.
If that happens, maybe he becomes an Atlanta Falcon. Stay tuned.