Re-signing Bruce Irvin Should be a No-Brainer
In one week, a lot has already happened in the front office for the Atlanta Falcons. As many probably know by now, Vic Beasley, who was the eight overall pick for Atlanta in 2015, will be coming back for the 2019 season. Beasley is coming off underwhelming back-to-back five sack seasons.
This is where Bruce Irvin comes into the equation. Irvin, a hometown guy, has always wanted to play for the Falcons. And when he had a chance to sign with Atlanta just a couple years ago in free agency, he decided to sign with the Raiders instead. After spending four seasons with the Legion of Boom in Seattle, things did not go as planned in Oakland where he was stuck on a losing team.
Jon Gruden gave up on Irvin in Oakland last season, it’s that simple. This allowed Irvin to sign mid-season with Atlanta and reunite with Dan Quinn once again. It was a reunion for Irvin, who grew up just outside of Atlanta as a young boy. Irvin came into a reeling Falcons defense that probably couldn’t stop a high school football team due to all of their injuries. Irvin still flourished late in the season for Atlanta, and was able to put consistent pressure on the quarterback, which is something the Falcons needed in a bad way.
After playing in eight games for Atlanta, Irvin was able to finish the season on a high note with 3.5 sacks and 13 tackles. Quinn was able to find some success putting Irvin on the edge opposite of Beasley, and moved Takkarist McKinley to defensive tackle alongside Grady Jarrett. It was the speed package as Quinn liked to call it, and it was successful on third downs for Atlanta’s defense late in the season.
Irvin, who is now 31 years old, will not be getting a huge contract from any team this off-season in free agency. The days of Irvin dominating every game at the line of scrimmage may be over, but he still has a lot left in the tank. Considering Irvin has had 21.5 sacks in the last three seasons, it would be smart for Thomas Dimitroff to bring him back on a one-year deal.
With Beasley proving to be a liability over the last couple seasons for Atlanta, having a veteran like Irvin that you can count on for consistent pressure on the quarterback would be huge if he returns. It will be interesting to see what a full season of Bruce Irvin in a Falcons uniform would look like. Re-signing this gritty defensive end this off-season should be a no-brainer for the Falcons.