Irvin played his college ball at West Virginia and was the 15th overall pick in 2012. Curry played at Marshall and was taken 59th in the same draft. Curry just got his big payday (five years, $47.25 million with $23 million guaranteed), and as Joel Corry of CBSSports.com pointed out, that's good news for Irvin.
They are different types of players. Curry was drafted to play in the Eagles' 4-3, and he stayed on the defensive line even as the team transitioned to a 3-4. Curry was never a starter, but playing in the Eagles' sub packages, he showed he could rush the passer.
Irvin, meanwhile, has been asked to play a more versatile role, setting up as the SAM linebacker in the Seahawks' base defense and playing defensive end in their nickel package. On pass plays last season, Irvin dropped into coverage 30.5 percent of the time and rushed the quarterback 69.5 percent of the time, according to Pro Football Focus.
In terms of pass-rush production, the two players have been pretty similar.
Below is a chart with their sacks, hurries, pass-rushing opportunities (courtesy of Pro Football Focus) and pressure percentage. That's just the percentage of pass-rush chances in which they notched a sack or hurry.
Irvin is a superior athlete who can go forward or backward. As a pass-rusher, he's going to line up on the edge. Curry is purely a defensive lineman, but he has shown the ability to rush off the edge or from the interior.
After the season, Irvin said he'd be willing to take less to stay with the Seahawks. But the bottom line is he and his agent Joel Segal can reasonably make the argument that Irvin deserves a deal in the same ballpark as Curry's.
And while Pete Carroll has said he wants to keep the Seahawks' core together, the team might not be willing to meet the price required to keep Irvin in Seattle.