Panthers sign DE Bruce Irvin to one-year deal

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Exit Julius Peppers. Enter Bruce Irvin.

The Carolina Panthers have signed the latter defensive end to a one-year deal, a source told NFL Network's Tiffany Blackmon on Tuesday. The team later made the signing official.

"Our primary focus coming into the offseason was to add talent to our offensive line and our front on defense, primarily in the area of rushing the passer," general manager Marty Hurney said. "Bruce has a knack for sacking and disrupting the quarterback. We are very pleased to have him as a member of the Carolina Panthers."

The 31-year-old journeyman edge rusher spent the 2018 season with the Oakland Raiders and Atlanta Falcons. Oakland waived Irvin after two seasons and eight games after falling out of favor with the new regime. The Falcons picked Irvin up for the final eight games of the season, during which he started three contests and racked up 3.5 sacks.

Irvin should help to fill the void vacated by Peppers, who announced his retirement in February after logging 485 defensive snaps in 2018. With Peppers out to pasture and Wes Horton a free agent, Irvin should slide right into a starting defensive end role across from Mario Addison in Carolina.

Even without venerable veterans like Peppers and Thomas Davis captaining the defense, Carolina still boasts one of the most impressive front sevens in football with Luke Kuechly, Shaq Thompson, Kawann Short and Dontari Poe clogging up the middle. Irvin can only help a Panthers pass rush that fell from third in sacks (50) in 2017 to 27th (35) in 2018.

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