Since the Khalil Mack trade, the Oakland Raiders have been a mess. Well, technically, since hiring Jon Gruden the Raiders have been a mess…that’s neither here nor there.
The purge in Oakland has already started with the Raiders trading WR Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys for a first-round pick. On Saturday, the organization released DE Bruce Irvin. The news was first reported by the Athletic.
Irvin led the Raiders in sacks with just three. The team with the worst pass rush in NFL decided to stop using their best DE. Irvin saw his snap count decrease dramatically over the last two week.
The Raiders were trying to trade him but were unsuccessful. On Thursday night against the San Francisco 49ers, Irvin played just nine snaps. Again, on a team with the worst pass run in professional football.
I’m still trying to figure out why Gruden got $100 million. Anyway, shortly after the news Bears’ star DE Khalil Mack Tweeted this out:
— Khalil Mack (@52Mack_) November 3, 2018
Clearly, Mack wants to play with his former Raider teammate again. The two were reportedly best friends during their time together in Oakland. That’s when Irvin was a lot more productive as well.
When playing alongside Mack, Irvin recorded seven sacks in 2016 and eight sacks in 2017. By now, Bears fans should understand just how important Mack’s presence on a defense is. Irvin could return to his dominant self if he was reunited with Mack.
Irvin is owed four million next season, which means he will clear waivers and become a free agent next week. Meaning the Bears can make him an offer and sign him for, at least, the rest of 2018.
You better believe that Mack is going to do everything he can to get Irvin into a Bears uniform. Below, I’ll explain why the Bears should, in fact, sign the former Super Bowl champion and how it can help the team going forward.
Look, the NFL is a tough league to play in. Injuries happen all the time, literally all the time. In the span of three weeks, the Bears went from being a healthy football team to a not so healthy one.
Kyle Long was put on IR and Mack is still recovering from some type of ankle sprain. Without Mack at 100%, the defense looks a lot different, and not in a good way. Good teams have depth. Look at last year’s Super Bowl champions: the Philadephia Eagles.
If the Bears are serious about being contenders in 2018 (they should be), then they need to really consider adding depth at one of the weakest positions on the roster: the edge rusher position.
Without a healthy Mack, the Bears have a hard time pressuring the QB. It’s the unfortunate truth.
Adding Irvin would give the Bears some depth at the edge rusher position, and another toy for defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to play with. Irvin is a versatile football player that can be disruptive when rushing the passer and in coverage.
After their loss to the New England Patriots, it was obvious to see that Mack and Floyd struggle in coverage situations. Adding Irvin would not only provide depth to a Bears’ defense that needs it, but make it more versatile than it already is.
It shouldn’t be a secret that Leonard Floyd has been mediocre so far in 2018. He has zero, yes, zero sacks on the season. He did start the year with a cast on his hand because of a few broken fingers, but it’s time for Floyd to put up or shut up.
He’s a first-round draft pick that needs to start figuring it out in year three.
Irvin, a veteran, could help Floyd’s development. The move could also light a fire under him, who needs to start producing like a first-round draft pick. Maybe, having playing time taken away from him would motivate Floyd?
Imagine, the defensive line rotations the Bears could throw at opponents with Mack, Irvin, and Floyd.
Sign me up!
Here’s the bottom line: good teams in the NFL have depth. It’s that simple in a league where injuries happen on almost every play. The Bears would improve their depth by signing Bruce Irvin.
Irvin would also bring a lot of playoff experience to a Bears team that is young and on the rise. It’s a bonus that the Bears’ most valuable player, Khalil Mack loves him and even more importantly, has a special connection with him on the field.
Realistically, it would cost the Bears around 750-850K to sign Irvin for the rest of the season. If he’s productive you could also make the argument the Bears could re-sign him for 2019 as well.
Money isn’t going to be an issue here.
General manager Ryan Pace doesn’t really make moves in the middle of the season, but he would be foolish, to not at the very least, consider bringing in Bruce Irvin.
A player that can help the Chicago Bears make a playoff run for the first time in a decade.
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