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Carolina Signs A Pass Rusher To Bolster Defensive Line

Jason Huber
March 19, 2019 - 2:53 pm

The Carolina Panthers filled another need after signing veteran defensive end Bruce Irvin to a one-year, $4 million contract with incentives worth up to $5 million on Tuesday.

Irvin will fill the void of Julius Peppers, who retired this offseason after a long career. Irvin could also play some outside linebacker, which is a need for the Panthers.

"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."

Irvin, 31, has 43.5 career sacks, including at least 5.5 sacks in each of the last five seasons. However, he had a career-low 59.0 defensive grade in 2018, while playing for Atlanta and Oakland.

"It's a perfect fit," Irvin said. 

Despite losing Peppers and linebacker Thomas Davis this offseason, Panthers still have veteran starters in Pro Bowl linebacker Luke Kuechly, to go along with Shaq Thompson, Kawann Short, Mario Addison and Dontari Poe returning on the front seven.

Defensive end Wes Horton is unlikely to resign with the Panthers, allowing Irvin to slide right into a starting spot.

After spending the first four seasons of his career in Seattle, Irvin spent two years with Oakland and had a 70.9 overall defensive grade in 2017.

"It's my eighth year in the league. I don't have a year or two to spare to get a feel for the system," Irvin said. "I tried to go to a system where I can make an immediate impact."

The Raiders cut Irvin after eight games last season and he signed with the Falcons for the final three games of the season. 

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