Bruce Irvin is a fine player. I want to stress that before I dive into the meat of this article, because everything that follows is going to make it seem like I want nothing to do with Irvin. In reality, I'd welcome him in Atlanta, but not at the price that ESPN's John Clayton reports for the Seattle linebacker, which is about $9.5 million per year. I don't know if that's an agent leak or not, but Irvin is being connected to both Atlanta and Jacksonville, so let's dive in on the rumor.
Why it makes sense
Irvin is a nice fit for this Atlanta team. He's a good athlete who is an asset against the run, a competent pass rusher, and he's certainly better in coverage than anyone the Falcons currently have at linebacker. He's got a history with Dan Quinn and knows what kind of defense the coach likes to run, so he'd be able to pick everything up quickly and step in as a starter, in all likelihood. He's not young, per se, but he's just 28 years old and should have a few quality years ahead of him, as well.
Why it doesn't make sense
The money. Irvin is not a top-shelf pass rusher or a particularly elite linebacker. He is a good one, and he would almost certainly be the team's best linebacker the instant he stepped on the field, but when you're throwing $9.5 million at a player, you expect a hell of a lot more than what Irvin's going to give you. The Falcons reportedly were willing to throw $5 or $6 million at Danny Trevathan, so I can't believe for a second they'd actually pony up that kind of cash for Irvin. It feels very much like an agent trying to drum up a bidding war, and if Jacksonville is sincerely interested in Irvin, they're going to win that war.
If Irvin's price tag ends up being far less than this report indicates, I could see Atlanta bringing him aboard. Like I said, he has the chance to be a legitimate asset for this team, and I'd welcome him on the Falcons. For that amount of money, however, the chances of him winding up here are slim to none.