Maybe he was caught in a very Atlanta moment — courtside at the Hawks’ NBA playoff game in his hometown wearing a Hawks cap and T-shirt with matching red, canvas sneakers.
Or maybe Bruce Irvin really does want to leave the Seattle Seahawks, who have started him in the past two Super Bowls after drafting him 15th overall in 2012, to join a team that hasn’t even made the playoffs over the past two seasons.
Irvin reportedly said 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 a post Thursday on blacksportsonline.com.
“Atlanta is where I want to be. Believe that.”
The Falcons have as their new head coach Dan Quinn, who last season 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 also made him an interchangeable, pass-covering linebacker. Irvin had 6½ sacks and two interceptions he returned for touchdowns last season.
That versatility in skills that are premium in today’s game could make Irvin hugely wealthy after the 2015 season. So one can see why Irvin would think “DQ,” as he calls his former coach, is an OK dude.
The Seahawks let a May 3 deadline pass without picking up Irvin’s fifth-year contract option for 2016. It would have paid him $7.8 million next year; he is set to earn $1,663,935 this year.
Irvin responded online with a less-than-supportive response to the Seahawks’ decision.
“Worked for everything I got in my life this ... will b no different! I earns my keeps” was one of his tweets.
“Faced way tougher adversity getting outta them streets coming up! That (option) is nothing!...” was another.
Now, this ode to Atlanta while still under contract in Seattle. How many players publicly pronounce they want off a two-time Super Bowl team to join a team that just went 6-10?
Apparently that’s how mad Irvin wants the Seahawks to know he is.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider could be expecting an ultramotivated Irvin to play his 2015 contract year as fiendishly as he has played any season so far. Meanwhile, the team has time explore a multiyear extension with a more team-friendly salary cap hit annually than $7.8 million.
If the two sides can’t strike an agreement by March, Irvin can pursue the highest bid as an unrestricted free agent.
For now, with no games until September, he seems intent on blowing off his apparently deep well of steam.
TURBIN HAS HIP SURGERY
Backup Seahawks running back Robert Turbin underwent offseason hip surgery, but is expected back in time for the start of the 2015 regular season.
The team confirmed Turbin underwent the surgery on Thursday but did not detail what was repaired or a recovery timeline.
Turbin is entering the final year of his rookie contract with the Seahawks and has been the main backup for Marshawn Lynch since being drafted in 2012. Turbin has made three starts, all last season, and has rushed for 928 total yards. Both of his NFL touchdowns have been receiving.
With Turbin sidelined, former second-round pick Christine Michael should get the bulk of the work during organized team activities and June’s minicamp as Lynch normally doesn’t ramp up his activity until training camp.
BRADY APPEALS BAN
Tom Brady has appealed his four-game suspension for his role in using deflated footballs during the AFC championship game.
The expected appeal was filed by the NFL Players Association on Thursday about an hour before the 5 p.m. deadline. The union asked for a neutral arbitrator to hear the case, though the league’s collective bargaining agreement stipulates that it will be decided by commissioner Roger Goodell or a person he designates.
The NFL announced the quarterback’s suspension on Monday, also fining the New England Patriots $1 million and taking away two draft picks.
Brady’s appeal only deals with the suspension and must be heard within 10 days. The team has not said if it will appeal its penalties before next Thursday.
The Bengals signed former Auburn tight end C.J. Uzomah, their fifth round pick, leaving three of their draft choices under contract. ... The Steelers signed fifth round pick Jesse James, a tight end out of Penn State,to a four-year contract. ... The Cowboys are bringing back special teams ace Danny McCray, who spent last season in Chicago after a four-year stay in Dallas. He signed a one-year deal. ... Second-year wideout Odell Beckham Jr., who gained national attention with a spectacular one-handed catch and a plethora of team records in 2014, has been chosen for the cover for EA Sports’ Madden 16. He is the first Giants player to make the video game’s cover.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.