Bruce Irvin Is A Seattle Seahawk Again, And Other Free Agent Musings


Bruce is back!

Writing this piece makes me happy. I have always been a big Bruce Irvin fan, and I thought it was a mistake that Seattle let him leave in free agency after the 2015 season. Yes, they already had Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, and Frank Clark as primary pass rushers, but Bruce had developed into a very good SAM linebacker, and doubled as a capable pass rushing end. As my dear old dad used to say, you can never have enough pass rushers.

I had hoped that he would have returned a couple seasons ago when the Raiders decided to tank their season, and released him, but he ended up signing with Atlanta. I had my fingers crossed last off-season that Seattle would bring him home, but he ended up signing with the Panthers where he enjoyed an 8.5 sack season. So when news broke late yesterday after that Bruce had signed with Seattle, I told my wife that I would do a cartwheel in our backyard if the next news breaking was that they were bringing back Michael Bennett, as well. I was pretty darn happy about it.

What does the Bruce Irvin Signing Mean For the Seahawks?

People can choose to over-inflate the signing or dismiss it. Yes, it’s true that Bruce is older now at 33, but he has always been one of the more freakishly athletic edge rushers in the league, has only played eight seasons, and he is still showing production. He might be one of the youngest 33 year old players in the league, and Seattle desperately needs productive pass rushers. From this perspective, this was a really good signing.

For one, he knows Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright, defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr, and the Seattle culture really well. The other important thing is that Seattle mostly needs help at the rush Leo end spot, and at this stage in his career, that is what Bruce is. He is likely a solid upgrade from the Ziggy Ansah failed experiment last year.

Personally, I don’t fret about his age. As I stated, I think he is still one of the more athletic speed rushers in the league, and I wouldn’t bet against him playing beyond his mid thirties, if he finds a niche in the league where he is used as a pass rushing specialist. That’s what I think he is most likely going to be in Seattle, which is great.

Which also leads me to saying this; I don’t think Seattle is near done shopping for pass rushers. I think there is an increasing chance that either Jadeveon Clowney returns to Seattle or they trade for Jaguar end rusher Yannick Ngakoue. I think there even a chance that they could wow us, and do both. I also would not rule out a return to Seattle by one Michael Bennett, or an Everson Griffin signing (who played college ball for Pete at USC).

I wouldn’t even rule out a trade for a player that we are not thinking about. How many people woke up yesterday morning thinking that Denver would send a seventh round pick to Tennessee for star defensive tackle Jurrell Casey? Personally, I would have loved to have seen Seattle make that deal, but regardless, that deal at least gives me confidence that more deals are likely out there and Seattle will be in the mix.

At any rate, this pass rush is not remotely fixed yet. Bruce is a nice start, but I can’t wait to see what lands next. We shall soon see.

Seattle loads up on veteran offensive lineman

Over the last 48 hours Seattle has signed veteran guard/center BJ Finney, and tackles Brandon Shell and Cedric Ogbuehi. Finney and Shell both signed two year deals, and Ogbuechi signed a one year contract.

Shell likely replaces right tackle Germaine Ifedi to the joy of many Seahawk fans. Make no mistake, he’s nowhere near a pro bowl level player, but he has graded slightly better than Ifedi over the years by Pro Football Focus, and is coming in on an inexpensive deal. My ultimate reading on this is that he is a hedge for a player that they will likely draft this Spring to be the likely long term starter. This draft class is loaded at offensive tackle.

Ogbuehi is probably a cheap replacement for George Fant. He will compete to be the swing tackle. He will also most likely be looked at as the next run blocking “big tight end” that Fant was, as he was used in the role in Jacksonville last year.

The more interested signing, in my opinion, is BJ Finney. Based off of comments I’ve read from Steeler fans, he was a highly valued swing guard and center in Pittsburgh, and was a capable starter when called upon. Pro Football Focus graded him out to be a pretty good pass blocker. This could be a sneaky good signing for Seattle. There is a chance that he takes over at guard for Mike Iupati, but I actually think that there is a greater chance that he ends of replacing Justin Britt at center.

Britt is coming off of a serious knee injury and is carrying an expensive salary in 2020. If Seattle is to remain aggressive in fixing its pass rush, releasing Britt saves about $9 million off of the cap. After the Finney contract, that would be about a $5 million savings. Watch for this move to likely happen.

What to expect for Seattle moving forward in free agency

Expect them to significantly continue to add to the pass rush. It will likely happen through free agency and trades. Keep these names in your mind; Jadeavon Clowney, Yannick Ngakoue, Everson Griffin, Matt Judon, and Michael Bennett. I think there is a decent chance any combo of these names are going to be Seahawks soon.

I would also expect them to look to add more in their secondary. They’ve been linked to Damarious Randall who could come in to be the starting nickel corner. I’d love that signing.

I would also very much expect them to add veteran help at running back, but they probably won’t move as fast there. The main goal will remain fixing the pass rush and then I would expect the other chips to follow.

So there we have it. Stay safe, friends.

Go Hawks.


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