The Seattle Seahawks lost a player who served as a critical source of edge rushing in 2012 this past week, as Bruce Irvin was suspended for the first four games of 2013 for violating the NFL PED policy.
While the surprisingly inexpensive additions of prized defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril this offseason will certainly soften the blow and leave wonder as to how much foresight the Seahawks front office had into this suspension, it still cost Seattle a first-round draft pick who played a crucial part of the defensive equation with Chris Clemons recovering.
“I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and Seahawks fans for making a mistake when I took a substance that is prohibited in the NFL without a medical exemption,” Irvin said in a statement. “I am extremely disappointed in the poor judgment I showed and take full responsibility for my actions.”
Irvin will lose $191,681 in base salary for the 2013 season, and is the sixth player to receive a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs in recent years, as noted by Eric D. Williams of The News Tribune. The 2012 first-round pick joins cornerback Brandon Browner, safety Winston Guy, offensive lineman John Moffitt, offensive lineman Allen Barbre and cornerback Richard Sherman.
However, the Seahawks will hit their early-season schedule undeterred, and it seems so will Vegas. I’ve seen that spot that actually bumped their Seahawks’ Super Bowl futures line up from 9-to-1 to 17-to-2 since the news broke. While Irvin did break the eight-sack mark as a rookie, the way he vastly under-performed in Chris Clemons absence during the NFC divisional round contest against the Atlanta Falcons showed that he is not one of the league’s elite edge rushers, at least yet.