Seahawks have yet to pick up $7.8 million contract option for 2016 season
Bruce Irvin is under contract to be a Seahawk in 2015.
And for now, that’s about all that is certain about the future of the team’s 2012 first-round draft choice.
While the team has yet to publicly comment on its decision not to pick up an option in Irvin’s contract for the 2016 season, the Seattle linebacker took to Twitter to make his opinions known.
Irvin referenced the option in a series of tweets late Sunday night, writing in one that he “Worked for everything I got in my life this (expletive) will b no different! I earns my keeps!’’
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He followed that with: “Faced way tougher adversity getting outta them streets coming up! That’s (expletive) is nothing! (Expletive) THAT OPTION!’’
The option would pay Irvin almost $7.8 million in 2016. Without the option, Irvin will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2015 season, the last of his initial four-year rookie contract. He is due to make $1.7 million in 2015.
Seattle general manager John Schneider insisted in an interview on ESPN 710 Seattle on Monday morning that the team wants to keep Irvin around long-term, saying he talked to Irvin last week and told him, “We need to get through this weekend and hit the reset button and see what our (salary cap) models look like.’’
The team likely would try to sign Irvin to a long-term deal, but one that would pay him less per year than the 2016 option.
Irvin, though, might be compelled to want to test free agency.
Seattle did not pick up a similar option on left guard James Carpenter following the 2014 season and he then signed with the Jets as an unrestricted free agent.
Irvin was a starter last year at strongside linebacker as well as working as a rush end in passing downs. He ranked second on the team in sacks with 6½.
Some of that role, though, could be taken in the future by the team’s first choice in the 2015 draft, Michigan defensive end Frank Clark, taken in the second round.
Coach Pete Carroll said Clark could be used as a strongside linebacker as well as a defensive end and edge rusher.
While the salary cap could go up to $150 million or more in 2016 from the current $143.28 million, the Seahawks will face considerable challenges as they attempt to negotiate extensions for the likes of quarterback Russell Wilson and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner.
As Irvin’s tweets began to gain notice Sunday night, he sent one apparently attempting to reassure fans that his loyalty to the team had not waned, writing a simple “I am a Seahawk!’’ And as he wrapped up his online dialogue, he explained why he reacted as he had.
“I’m a very blunt person and that won’t ever change,” he tweeted. “Sorry if u dislike it. Gonna teach bray (his son, Brayden) to be the same way.”
The Seahawks will hold their annual rookie minicamp Friday to Sunday. Each of the team’s eight draftees and the 12 undrafted free agents are expected to attend as well as up to 30 or so players attending on a tryout basis.