Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider both pointed to the team's pass rush as an area of concern heading into the offseason, and one way they're hoping to address that need is by turning to an old friend.
The Seahawks made official the signing of linebacker Bruce Irvin on Thursday, reuniting the veteran pass-rusher with the team that selected him in the first round of the 2012 class.
Irvin, the No. 15 overall pick in a 2012 draft class that also included both Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson, recorded 8.0 sacks as a rookie, then transitioned to strongside linebacker in 2013, starting 37 games over the next four seasons as part of a defense that became the first in the Super Bowl era to lead the NFL in scoring defense for four straight years. Irvin joined the Raiders as a free agent in 2016, split the 2018 season between Oakland and Atlanta, then spent last season with the Carolina Panthers.
Irvin has recorded eight or more sacks three times in his career, including last season in Carolina when he had a career-high 8.5 sacks, 36 tackles, one forced fumble and one pass defensed. Irvin is one of two pass rushers added this offseason along with defensive end Benson Mayowa, another player who got his start in Seattle.
"We were able to acquire Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa, two individuals that we're very comfortable with, confident in," Schneider said Tuesday during his and Carroll's pre-draft press conference. "They bring in (15.5 sacks in 2019)… We're excited about having those guys back."
In addition to reuniting with former teammates like Wilson and Wagner, Irvin is excited to play in front of the 12s once again.
"The whole organization is great, but there's no organization without great fans," Irvin said last month on 710 ESPN Seattle. "No matter where I went, they continued to wish me well, wish me success, no matter where I played. That just shows a lot about the fan base and great of people they have in Washington. It's a privilege, I'm just happy to be able to play in front of the 12s."
Additionally, restricted free agents Joey Hunt and Branden Jackson have both signed their restricted free agent tenders, and defensive tackle Bryan Mone has signed his exclusive rights tender. Hunt, a 2016 sixth-round pick, started eight games at center last season in place of an injured Justin Britt, as well as two playoff games, finishing out the year despite playing through a stress fracture in his leg late in the season. Jackson, who has spent the past three seasons in Seattle, appeared in 15 games, starting three, and recorded a career-best 2.0 sacks last year. Mone, who made the team out of camp as an undrafted rookie, appeared in four games, splitting time between the practice squad and the 53-man roster.