Looks like Bruce Irvin had 37 million reasons to leave the Seahawks.
USA Today’s Tom Pelissaro reported Wednesday morning the Oakland Raiders’ new contract for Seattle’s departing free-agent linebacker is worth $37 million for four years. Irvin is getting $12.5 million this year.
That’s up from the $1.66 million he earned in base pay last season, the final year of his rookie contract as the Seahawks’ first-round draft choice in 2012. It’s also way above the $7.8 million at which Seattle could have had him for 2016 -- had it not declined to exercise his fifth-year contract option for 2016 last spring.
Pelissaro reported Irvin will receive a fully guaranteed $2.25 million from Oakland through a roster bonus next March. His 2017 base salary of $4.5 million will also be guaranteed.
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Pelissero reported Irvin can earn up to $39 million if he reaches Pro Bowl incentives in his new Raiders contract.
All that is far richer than the Seahawks could have afforded to bring him back. They have an estimated $15 million or so available to spend under their 2016 salary cap.
Wednesday morning, Miami revoked the transition tag it had been planning to use to keep Olivier Vernon. That makes the defensive end suddenly a coveted free agent for the league’s official market opening of 1 p.m. Wednesday. Vernon is an athletic end who has also rushed the quarterback from a stand-up, two-point stance like a linebacker -- like Irvin. But Vernon is likely going to prove far too expensive for the Seahawks to seriously pursue, given how $8 million per year seems to be a developing starting point for pass rushers in this free-agent market.
As I wrote Tuesday night, it appears Irvin’s replacement might not currently be on Seattle’s roster.
Or does it?
Frank Clark, the Seahawks’ top draft pick in 2015 at defensive end who played there and as a hybrid, pass-rush tackle next to Michael Bennett on many third downs last season, posted a timely Twitter picture Tuesday night as news of Irvin’s exit was coming out.
Then there’s this talk of a potential reunion concerning a one-time Seahawks defensive end:
Things that make you go, “Hmmmm....”