Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin is set to see a generous payday as one of the top defensive players on the open market, especially if the deep-pocketed Jaguars are serious about reuniting him with coach Gus Bradley.
Yet, Irvin is finding it hard to say goodbye to the place he's called home over the last four years.
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"I mean, I love Seattle, and I want to spend the rest of my career there," Irvin recently told KIRO-AM in Seattle. "Like I always say, those guys took a chance on me when everybody wasn't even thinking about me. I probably would have went second, third round. So those guys will always have a place in my heart, a special place.
"So like I said, man, if the money was close, I would definitely consider it because the brotherhood I have with those guys, it's like no other," Irvin continued. "I'm as close to most of those guys as I am with my real brothers, so leaving those guys would be very hard on me, but not only me, my family also."
This isn't a statement that should be taken lightly heading into free agency, but the question remains: Could the Seahawks legitimately stay in the ballpark for Irvin given how absurd the market price could end up being? Would they, considering they never exercised his fifth-year option in the first place?
It isn't the first time Irvin mentioned some form of a hometown discount, and his reasoning is noble enough. Irvin had a turbulent life before football, and many thought at the time it would cause him to slip well into the second round or later, especially after an arrest in 2012 for allegedly destroying private property shortly before the draft. That didn't faze general manager John Schneider then, who made him the No. 15 overall pick in 2012, and it apparently meant a lot to Irvin.
The Seahawks have a little more than $20 million in salary-cap space at the moment, not counting a potential deal in progress for defensive end Michael Bennett or any noise they plan to make in free agency. Is there enough room in their cash budget to fit everyone in again? Irvin hopes so.