Vic Beasley Jr. (from left), Bruce Irvin, and Steven Means of the Falcons react by crossing their arms after Irvin sacked Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen on Sunday, Dec 16, 2018, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton
Photo: ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton

Ex-Falcon Bruce Irvin set to sign with Panthers 

Former Falcons defensive end Bruce Irvin agreed to a one-year deal with the Panthers, according the Charlotte Observer, which cited a league source.  

The Falcons were 4-4 when they signed Irvin last season and hoped he would boost a sagging defense and lead to a playoff run. 

However, the Falcons dropped five straight games and were eliminated from the playoffs. 

Irvin played in eight games and made three starts for the Falcons. He finished with 3.5 sacks.

Irvin, who was with Falcons coach Dan Quinn with the Seahawks for the two Super Bowl runs, cleared waivers last season from the Raiders and signed a one-year deal with the Falcons.

When the Falcons added Irvin, they had 17 sacks, which ranked 27th in the league. Irvin was expected to bolster the pass rush. 

Irvin, 31, had three sacks, four quarterback hits and one forced fumble on the season before joining the Falcons. The Falcons thought he could help the pass rush and give starters Vic Beasley and Takk McKinley a break. 

Seattle was also interested in Irvin. The Seahawks drafted him in the first round in 2012 after his career at West Virginia.

He was considered at reach as a speed edge rusher. But turned into a strongside linebacker. He teamed with middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and weakside linebacker K.J. Wright on Seattle’s Super Bowl winning defense, which was coordinated by Quinn. 

After playing four seasons with Seattle, Irvin signed a four-year, $27.7 million contract with Oakland in free agency in 2016.

With the retirement of Julius Peppers, the Panthers were in the market for pass-rush help.

[Summary]

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