Seahawks Insider Blog

Bruce Irvin tells online outlet: "I'm going to be in Atlanta next season... believe that."

Maybe he was caught in a very Atlanta moment -- courtside at the Hawks' NBA playoff game -- looking very Atlanta (Hawks cap and T-shirt with, check 'em out, matching red, canvas sneakers) in his hometown.

Or maybe Bruce Irvin really does want to leave the Seahawks that have started him in the last two Super Bowls, after drafting him 15th overall in 2012, to join a team hasn't even made the playoffs over those same, last two seasons.

Whatever the reason, Irvin reportedly said publicly last night he wants to play for the Falcons in 2016.

"I’m going to be in Atlanta next season. I’m ready,” Irvin said, according to this post on blacksportsonline.com.

"Atlanta is where I want to be. Believe that," Irvin added, according to the post.

The Falcons of course have as their new head coach Dan Quinn, who last season while as Seattle's defensive coordinator made Irvin an every-down player for the first time in the NFL. Before that, Irvin was viewed -- and often deployed -- as a one-dimensional pass rusher off the edge. Quinn made Irvin a pass-rushing end and also an interchangeable, pass-covering linebacker. People forget Irvin had two interceptions returned for touchdowns last season, one against Oakland in November and the second against St. Louis in the regular-season finale.

That's versatility and play-making that could make Irvin very rich after the 2015 season. So, yes, one can see why Irvin would think "DQ," as he and fellow Seahawks call him, is an OK dude.

The Seahawks let the May 3 deadline pass without picking up Irvin's fifth-year contract option for 2016. It would have paid him $7.8 million to remain in Seattle beyond this coming season.

Irvin responded that night on Twitter with a, uh... less-than-supportive response to the Seahawks' decision.

Now, this ode to Atlanta while still under contract in Seattle, sort of inverse, self-inflicted tampering. And it is indeed unusual. I mean, how many players publicly pronounce they want off a two-time Super Bowl team to join a team that not only has failed to make the playoffs for the last two years but went 6-10 inside the woeful NFC South in 2014?

Apparently that's how mad Irvin wants the Seahawks to know he is.

As we've discussed here, I sense Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider are expecting an ultra-motivated Irvin to play his contract year this coming season as fiendishly as he has played any season so far for Seattle. Meanwhile, the team will explore a multi-year extension beyond 2015, one that would have a more team-friendly salary-cap hit annually than the $7.8 million would have been had it picked up his 2016 option.

If the two sides can't strike an agreement by next March, then Irvin could pursue the highest bid as an unrestricted free agent. Or any offer from his hometown Falcons.

In the meantime, with no games to vent until September, Irvin is going to blow off his apparently deep well of steam.

--And as for Russell Wilson's so-called "subtweet" this morning, I'm going to leave the meaning or not-meaning of tweets for the birds:

--Richard Sherman was at Thomas Jefferson High School in Federal Way between Tacoma and Seattle this morning. Giddy teens have been posting selfies and excited messages about the visit.

--Michael Bennett appeared on NFL Network today and, as usual, had opinions: on Irvin, on Tom Brady, on the Seahawks.

The defensive end who stayed away from the Seahawks' voluntary work at team headquarters recently because he wants a raise was oh so coy about returning to Seattle this season: "Actually, I'm not back just yet."

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-total-access/0ap3000000492812/Bennett-on-expectations-for-Seahawks-in-2015

--Today's official NFL transactions how Seattle has opened a spot on its 90-man offseason roster by waiving-injured undrafted free agent defensive end Tory Slater.

slater514

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