This came together pretty quickly, so it wouldn’t be surprising if there had been some communication between these sides for a while as Irving waited for the go-ahead from the league office. The reinstatement from Roger Goodell came on October 16th, and on the 17th we heard the Raiders were hosting him on a visit. Irving’s young career has already seen him suspended four times, thrice for substance abuse policy violations and once for PEDs.
His most recent ban was an indefinite one that ended up lasting over 18 months. An UDFA out of Iowa State in 2015, Irving has only appeared in two games since the 2017 season, but he showed plenty of flashes early on with the Cowboys. In only eight games with Dallas in 2017, he racked up seven sacks and six passes defended.
After hist most recent suspension Irving originally announced he was retiring in March of 2019, in part due to the league’s marijuana policy. After sitting out last season he had a change of heart, and announced back in February that he was hoping for a return. It took about eight months for him to get approval from Goodell, and now he’ll join a Raiders team looking to make a push in the AFC.
Raiders defensive line coach Rod Marinelli was Irving’s defensive coordinator in Dallas, which helps explain the connection. It’s anyone’s guess as to what Irving will look like or how soon he’ll be in game shape, but it’s a nice low-risk flyer for a team in need of pass-rushing help.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.