There was a lot of news around the NFL yesterday, as some pretty prominent names switched teams. The Rams got more pass rush help (as if they needed more) in Dante Fowler. Demaryius Thomas will now disappoint for the Texans instead of the Broncos. Golden Tate looks to contend for another Super Bowl, this time with the Eagles. The Packers are apparently sold on their secondary being good-enough, as they gave away a still-productive Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to the Redskins.
And, I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting, but I don’t care all that much because it doesn’t involve the Seahawks. All the Seahawks did yesterday was waive Brandon Marshall, who wasn’t really playing a whole lot as it is (and when he did play, he was dropping balls left and right).
I pointed out yesterday (on Twitter) that I didn’t really want the Seahawks to trade for anyone, and someone responded that the Seahawks need Bruce Irvin. I can see why someone would say that. Obviously, the Seahawks are well aware of his abilities. The Raiders are in full-on tank mode, shipping off veterans as they collect high draft picks. And, what have we been talking about all year as the Seahawks’ most pressing need? Pass rush! So, yeah, Bruce Irvin makes a lot of sense.
But, does he? I honestly haven’t paid him much mind since he went to the Raiders. What I know from his Seahawks days is that he was drafted to be our LEO defensive end. He got 8 sacks as a rookie, which is still the most sacks he’s gotten in a season. By 2015 – his last year in Seattle – Irvin was converted to a SAM linebacker. Like I said, I don’t know what he’s been up to in Oakland, but if he’s still a SAM, I’ve got news for you: so is Barkevious Mingo. Mychal Kendricks can also play that position, and he’s set to return to the Seahawks from his suspension later this season, in week 14.
Okay, so maybe we could’ve just played Irvin at defensive end. I suppose that’s possible. He’s still pretty under-sized at 250 pounds, so that hurts us in run defense. Also, he has yet to really develop into a dominant pass rusher. As I mentioned, his season high in sacks is still 8. He’s had 18 total sacks in the last 2.5 seasons with the Raiders, which honestly isn’t all that impressive. He has 3 sacks in 7 games this year, and I think he’s dealing with nagging injury issues. Regardless, he’s not exactly filling up the stat sheet with his production.
We know Frank Clark is better than Irvin. I would argue Dion Jordan is better than Irvin when he’s healthy. I also like the upside of both Jacob Martin and Rasheem Green and would prefer to see both of those guys gain experience through the second half of this season over someone like Irvin, who has a clear and defined ceiling (which, again, isn’t all that impressive).
Finally, there’s the matter of his contract. He’s set to earn whatever $8 million is pro-rated over the rest of the season. He’d be owed $9.25 million for 2019 if we opted to keep him, which isn’t a ton of money, but is probably money we can use to acquire better players in the offseason. We could cut him after this year without a cap hit, at which point we’d be trading for a half-year rental. How much would you be willing to give up for something like that? For me, it wouldn’t be anything over a 6th round pick. Is that something the Raiders would accept? I highly doubt it. See, they too can cut him after this year with no cap hit. Odds are, if we wanted to bring Irvin back next year, we could sign him in the offseason for a lot less than $9 million, based on his NFL production across 7 seasons.
I’d rather the Seahawks just hang onto our draft picks, all things considered.
Most of all, I’m still a believer that the Seahawks aren’t a championship contender in 2018. Now, given the way they’ve played the last few weeks, the Seahawks are certainly a lot better than I expected – and a lot closer to being a championship contender than I ever thought possible – but we’re still at least a year or two away from truly contending. So, save that money to make big splashes in free agency next year, and save those draft picks to continue filling in the rest of the roster with young, hungry talent. We’re not a Bruce Irvin (or, really, anyone else who would’ve been legitimately available in trade) away from making it back to the Super Bowl this year, so better not to panic and stay the course.
Things are still looking good! The future looks bright! Let’s just enjoy the ride as it’s been constructed.