The New England Patriots made a hard run at Bruce Irvin this week but were unable to land the free agent edge rusher.
Irvin, who officially was released by the Oakland Raiders on Monday and cleared waivers Tuesday, signed with his hometown Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday despite receiving better offers from the Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.
“This was a dream (come) true,” Irvin told ESPN’s Vaughn McClure after news of his signing broke. “The Patriots and Steelers offered more money, but being able to play for my city and my people, you just can’t put a price on that.”
Drafted 15th overall in 2012, Irvin spent four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks before joining the Raiders in 2016. The move to Atlanta reunites the 31-year-old with Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, his former defensive coordinator in Seattle.
Irvin, who was raised in the Atlanta area, is a versatile defender who could have helped the Patriots both on the edge and at linebacker — two units that could use a boost. New England ranks 30th in sacks and 31st in sack percentage this season despite generating consistent pressure.
The Patriots did make two additions to their defense this week, signing former Raiders safety Obi Melifonwu and former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Albert McClellan. They also signed former Houston Texans edge rusher Ufomba Kamalu to their practice squad.
Thumbnail photo via Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports Images
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