If you were one of those people who thought the Pittsburgh Steelers could benefit from signing Bruce Irvin after he was surprisingly released by the Oakland Raiders last Saturday, it turns out the front office agreed with you for once. Despite signing a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday, it would appear the former Oakland Raider had a number of options on the table, one of which was an offer from the Steelers.
When speaking to Vaughn McCulre of ESPN upon signing with the Falcons, Irvin revealed that he had rejected better offers from both Pittsburgh and the New England Patriots in favor of joining his hometown team.
Bruce Irvin to me on joining the Falcons: ``This was a dream [come] true. 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.'' Irvin comes home to Atlanta. https://t.co/vEPn7bOEP0— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) November 7, 2018
While no one can blame him for wanting to play in the city he was born in, it is interesting to note that the Steelers were attempting to add a veteran pass rusher to the roster at mid season. It would also stand to reason that Irvin is unlikely to have been the only outside linebacker the team have looked at since the season began or the end of their hunt for one.
With the salary cap space to spare thanks to the continued absence of Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh are ideally placed financially to make the sort of moves they are not normally known for, and this may not be the last of their free agent enquiries in 2018.
With around $3.8 million still due on his contract at the time of his release, it is not surprising that the Steelers did not put in a waiver claim for him, but it seems very unlikely he has signed for the veteran minimum in Atlanta.