Saturday, October 22, 2016

In part two of our two-part series on WVUPros and NFL free agency, we look at two WVUPros currently in the midst of their free agency period. Seattle Seahawks player Bruce Irvin and Cincinnati Bengal Adam “Pacman” Jones are both currently unsure of where they will play in the 2016 season.

If you missed part one of our series, you can find it here.

For Irvin, the question of whether he will be staying in Seattle is a multi-faceted question. Pacman’s question of staying in Cincinnati has not had the headline time that Irvin has seen, but Jones did just return from participating in the Pro Bowl and will be seeing to his contract and free agent status shortly.

Bruce Irvin is coming off of four years with the Seahawks, making the most out of his first four years in the NFL. Irvin is a part of the Super Bowl winning Seahawks defense and has been seen as an integral part of that defense. In the 2015 regular season and postseason, Irvin accounted for 43 combined tackles, 18 assisted tackles, two defended passes and one forced fumble. Irvin has shown a great amount of strength and improvement over his first four years in the NFL, he has consistently gotten better each season he has played.

The questions and headlines regarding Irvin’s status in Seattle essentially date back to last year, prior to the 2015 season, when Irvin’s contract option for 2016 was not picked up by Seattle. With his option not being picked up for the 2016 season, people began to speculate where Irvin’s next move might take him should he not stay in Seattle.

Now that the Seahawks season has ended, the rumors have continued to pile up as to what will happen and where Irvin will be playing next fall. Irvin has constantly expressed his love and respect for Pete Carroll, Seahawks 12th Man, and the entire Seahawks organization over the years. One could say that his love of the Seahawks is second to his love of Mountaineer Nation.

Several weeks ago Irvin stated that he would take a pay cut in order to stay in Seattle. During Super Bowl 50, RB Marshawn Lynch tweeted out a picture of a pair of Seahawks green football cleats hanging up and a peace sign emoji possibly signifying his retirement. The team may have been ready to move on without Beastmode, retirement or not. If Lynch’s tweet did in fact signify his retirement, this would open up more room for Seattle in which to re-sign Irvin.

Should that not happen, a likely landing spot is in Atlanta. Irvin is from there and he would be reunited with his former defensive coordinator Dan Campbell.

It would be the ideal situation for Irvin, stay in Seattle where he is established, go for a contract with longevity and be able to continue to put down west coast roots for himself, wife and son. Eagles lineman Vinny Curry just signed a five-year deal worth $47.25 million and $23 million guaranteed. Irvin and Marshall are the same NFL Draft class, making this a deal Irvin could use to negotiate with Pete Carroll and the Seahawks.

In the off chance Irvin does not stay in Seattle and work out a contract deal, it is guessed that Irvin would be contacted by the Falcons or even contact them himself. Bruce Irvin has made a name for himself in Seattle, reaching out to fans off the field and showing strong performances each week on the field. With that being said, Irvin is showing that he is willing to stay with Seahawks team and fanbase, a group that has basically become a second family, should they want to keep him in Seattle.

Adam “Pacman” Jones just finished his tenth season since being drafted in the 2005 NFL draft. This season was arguably one of the most physical seasons Jones has had in the league, looking like he is coming into the prime football playing of his career. As Jones’s game-playing skills have continued to trend upward and mature, Jones’s occasional outbursts and flamboyant comments have remained a part of the cornerback’s personality. This season, Jones proved to be a vital member of the Bengals defense, as well as being an on-field leader for the defense in crunch time situations.

As many know, Jones had some choice words towards the end of and following the Bengals’s season-ending game versus Pittsburgh. Jones later apologized and went on to play in this year’s Pro Bowl, his first appearance in his NFL career. If Jones were to stay in Cincinnati, he would be staying with an organization he’s been a part of for six seasons. Jones is established in Cincinnati and has greatly proven to be a contributing teammate.

Jones’s on-field performance in the 2015 season shows he is worthy of a contract extension with the Bengals, but one must ask if his occasional outbursts such as this January’s will play a role at all in his free agency. Jones is known for this behavior, but one cannot help but beg the question at a time where Pacman does not have a guaranteed contract for next season. Since Jones has shown some of his best football skills this past season, he remains a big part of a very strong Bengals defense and will be a defensive asset wherever he lands next fall.



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