Less than 24 hours after Jason Pierre-Paul agreed to join the Saints, the Lions will make an in-season edge-rushing addition. Bruce Irvin agreed to terms with the Lions on Tuesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.
Irvin, 36, played last season with the Seahawks — his third stint with the team that drafted him back in the 2012 first round — but has been with five teams over the course of an 11-year career. As team No. 6, the Lions will aim for Irvin providing some supplementary pass-rushing aid.
As is the case with many in-season veteran signings, Irvin will start out of the Lions’ practice squad. The team will certainly be interested in the veteran edge making his way to the active roster. This has become a routine for Irvin, who signed with the Bears in November 2021 and rejoined the Seahawks in October of last year.
The Lions do not have a five-sack player. Aidan Hutchinson leads the team with 4.5, and while his status as Detroit’s top pass rusher is not in question (as he leads the NFL with 32 pressures), the team is aiming to add some help in this department. Among the Lions’ non-Hutchinson edge rushers, Julian Okwara — who spent a chunk of the season on IR — leads the way with two sacks. In his abbreviated 2022 season back in Seattle, Irvin totaled 3.5 sacks.
Irvin also tallied 8.5 sacks with the Panthers back in 2019, getting there in 13 games. The West Virginia alum does not have a double-digit sack slate in the NFL, but he does have seven seasons with at least 5.5. Irvin forced six fumbles with the 2016 Raiders, helping them snap a lengthy playoff drought. Despite the midseason arrival, Irvin also started 10 games for last year’s Seahawks. Overall, the seasoned edge defender 55.5 career regular-season sacks and 4.5 in the playoffs. Two of those came to help Seattle to the 2014 NFC championship.
Detroit’s OLB group consists of Hutchinson, the Okwara brothers (Romeo and Julian), along with former first-rounder Charles Harris and 2022 second-round Josh Paschal. Paschal and Romeo Okwara do not have a sack this season. As a team, the Lions have 21 sacks — tied for 21st in the league.