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Falcons sign former Raiders, Seahawks pass rusher Bruce Irvin to bolster defense

Irvin was having a so-so season with theRaiders, but he re-joins a coach he had some real success with in Atlanta.

Atlanta Falcons v Oakland Raiders Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Bruce Irvin was a pretty useful pass rusher in Seattle, and he remained one when he signed a big free agent deal with the Raiders, piling up 18 sacks in 2.5 years. Then he became a free agent, the latest purge from Jon Gruden’s carnival of butcher knives and ineptitude in California, and Dan Quinn didn’t wait long to snap him up.

With Irvin clearing waivers and the Falcons in need of more pass rushing punch, they’ve added Irvin to their rotation. No immediate word on a corresponding move or the contract here, but it’s safe to say we’re pretty happy with the move. Irvin has never been worse than solid, and the Falcons pass rush in 2018 has largely come from Grady Jarrett, Jack Crawford and Takk McKinley. Irvin gives them a little more juice.

The question is where Irvin is going to play. The Falcons have been giving Vic Beasley massive snap counts week after week in the hopes that things will click into place for him, so he could cede playing time to Irvin. Irvin could also line up some opposite of Beasley, with Takk kicking inside where he can be a terror, or he could get some time at a linebacker position that has been a little shaky for large chunks of the year. I’m betting more on that first option than anything else, but Quinn will find a way to get Irvin into the lineup once he’s up to speed, regardless of who he’s taking out of the lineup along the way.

Give Irvin a warm welcome to Atlanta, and let’s hope he can help this improving defense do better things the rest of the way.