The Panthers will face the Texans today without CB Donte Jackson (groin) and DT Kawann Short (shoulder). Both are inactive after entering the day questionable. Their absences ding a defense already facing 1 of the league's more high-powered offenses. DE Bruce Irvin will play for the first time this season. He also entered questionable with a hamstring injury. We'll see how his return affects the playing time of rookie Brian Burns. The rookie should be your IDP play for Week 4, though, in an upside spot.
The Panthers have ruled out DE/OLB Bruce Irvin for Sunday's opener against the Rams. That should mean more playing time for rookie edge Brian Burns, who racked up 4 sacks across the 3 preseason games he played. The Rams don't present a terrific matchup for his IDP upside in Week 1, but a strong outing -- and/or continued hamstring trouble for Irvin -- could mean more playing time for Burns going forward. A Week 2 matchup with the Buccaneers presents attractive upside.
DE Bruce Irvin has agreed to a 1-year deal with the Panthers. That sets the former Falcon up well for 2019 playing time. Carolina had just 2 DEs reach 50% snap share last season, and Juilus Peppers has retired since finishing 2nd in that category. Mario Addison continues to lead the group, heading into his age-32 season. Wes Horton played 47% as the #3 DE last year and is now an unrestricted free agent. Wild cards in the mix are Efe Obada (soon to be 27) and 2018 rookie Marquis Haynes. Obada's a fun prospect from Nigeria who flashed in limited time last year. But Haynes arrived as a 4th-round pick last year after tallying 47.5 tackles for loss and 32 sacks across 4 seasons at Mississippi State. Irvin might open 2019 as a starter but is smallish and might also fare better with limited snaps. It'll be a position to watch in Carolina.
The Falcons have signed DE Bruce Irvin to a 1-year deal. The Steelers and Patriots also reportedly made offers to the former Raider, with other teams also expressing interest. Atlanta sports the league's 5th-worst sack rate, and the city is Irvin's hometown. The Falcons reportedly plan to get Irvin on the field right away for this weekend's matchup with the Browns, so we should soon see how big a role he can claim. It'd be tough to start Irvin in IDP lineups right away -- despite the positive matchup -- but he has a shot to gain relevance through the 2nd half of the year. The interest level he generated on the open market suggests Oakland mishandled the veteran by cutting his playing time this year and then dumping him.
The Raiders have waived DE Bruce Irvin, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic. The nearly $4 million left on Irvin's contract might keep him from getting claimed, though interested teams with cap space could foot that bill now that they wouldn't have to surrender any draft capital in trade. Either way, expect the 31-year-old pass-rusher to get another shot somewhere this season. Whether he'll have a shot at IDP relevance will depend on the landing spot.
Adam Schefter reports that the Raiders have agreed to a deal with Seahawks LB Bruce Irvin. It's an interesting addition for a defense that already starts Khalil Mack on 1 edge and hopes to get Aldon Smith back for the other. Irvin can play as a standup LB or an edge rusher, either with his hand up (OLB) or down (DE). With Smith suspended until at least the middle of the coming season, Irvin should have no trouble finding an immediate starting role. His versatility will also help the Raiders find snaps for both if/when Smith returns. Irvin supplied 22 sacks over his 4 seasons with Seattle, including a personal-best 8 back in his rookie year. We'll see what Oakland reveals about its plan for him as we get into our 2016 IDP projections.
Seahawks LB Bruce Irvin had hip surgery on Monday. The Seattle Times reports that the team gave no details on the specific injury, but Irvin tweeted that he expects to be back in time for training camp. As long as he hits that timeline -- or shortly thereafter -- we won't worry too much about the impact. Irvin won't sit high in our 2014 IDP rankings but does carry sneaky value in scoring formats that favor sacks.
The Tacoma Tribune reports that the Seahawks will move Bruce Irvin to LB this year, where he'll compete with Malcolm Smith on the strong side. It's a move that had been rumored all offseason. HC Pete Carroll says Irvin's speed and versatility will make for a smooth transition, and Irvin will continue to run from an end spot in passing situations. The LB designation wouldn't help his fantasy value, but starting at LB would likely put him on the field more often. Of course, whatever Irvin does will come after his 4-game drug suspension. We'll see how this one sorts out. He led all rookies with 8 sacks last year in a part-time role last season, though. The talent makes Irvin intriguing.
The league has suspended Seahawks DE Bruce Irvin for 4 games for violating the performance-enhancing drugs policy. That will likely leave Seattle's defense without its top 2 sack guys from last year to open the season. DE Chris Clemons is working his way back from an ACL tear he suffered in the playoff win at Washington. The Seahawks added DE Cliff Avril and DL Michael Bennett in free agency, so one could slide into Irvin's pass-rushing role to open the season. The plan has been for Bennett to man the 3-technique tackle spot. It's also a significant blow to the IDP prospects for Irvin, who would have carried serious sleeper potential. At least the Seahawks open with Carolina, San Francisco, Jacksonville and Houston -- not the toughest slate of pass offenses.
The Seattle Seahawks have brought in former Tampa Bay Buccaneers DE Michael Bennett on a 1-year, $5 million deal. It's a much smaller pact than expected for one of the market's best D-linemen, same as DE Cliff Avril's Seattle deal. In Bennett and Avril, the Seahawks add 2 players who spent the past 2 seasons as full-time left ends. Bennett looks more the part of the typical strong side DE and plays the run much better than his fellow signee. Avril has produced many more sacks than Bennett and seems the more likely fit for Chris Clemons' role at right end. Clemons, of course, suffered an ACL tear in the playoff win at Washington. Bruce Irvin, the 1st-round pick a year ago, looks like he'll stick with his situational-rusher role. Bennett can kick inside to tackle in passing situations to get more pressure guys on the field. Seattle's D looks like it should be among the league's best units in fantasy football again in 2013.
Former Lions DE Cliff Avril has reached a 2-year deal with the Seahawks. It's a surprisingly short contract for a 26-year-old pass rusher with 29 sacks over the past 3 years. Seattle gets a guy to help fill the void while DE Chris Clemons works back from an ACL tear. Avril might not slot into Clemons' RDE role, which could go to 2012 1st-round draft pick Bruce Irvin. Avril played LDE for the Lions and made his living off his speed. That's much the same game that Clemons and Irvin play. Clemons, who will turn 32 in October, could be a candidate for release. His $8.17 million cap number would drop to $4.3 million in that case, and the Seahawks could choose to spread it over 2 years. Either way, Avril should be set up to approximate his solid Detroit production and draw DL2 consideration in IDP leagues. Back in Detroit, restricted free agent Willie Young could get a shot at the starting job Avril vacated. Young comes with plenty of upside but has proved little in the NFL so far. The Lions only have 1 DE -- 2012 rookie Ronnell Lewis -- currently under contract.
Bruce Irvin undoubtedly left Round 1 as the most surprising pick Thursday night. The former West Virginia Mountaineer is widely regarded as one of the class' best pure pass rushers, though. He's slight by prototype standards for an NFL DE, but he's about the same size as new teammate Chris Clemons and Indy's Robert Mathis. The Seahawks already have Clemons in place and big Red Bryant starting at the other end. That likely makes Irvin a situational rusher. He's ideally suited for such a role but might have trouble getting enough snaps to be worth an IDP pick.
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