Seahawks may have to hug and congratulate Bruce Irvin, says GM

After the Seattle Seahawks' divisional round loss to the Carolina Panthers, head coach Pete Carroll said one of the primary goals of the offseason would be keeping the core of the roster together.

But with a salary cap in place and seven starters scheduled to be free agents, there will be changes, just as there are every year. One player who could be moving on is linebacker Bruce Irvin.

Speaking to reporters at the combine in Indianapolis, general manager John Schneider praised Irvin, but admitted that the 2012 first-round pick might find a better financial offering elsewhere.

"I love Bruce... but it really, truly is a big puzzle that we have to work through," Schneider said. "And I’ve met with Bruce individually. He knows how we feel about him as an organization. He knows that we’re either going to be able to make it work or we’re just going to give him a big hug and congratulate him.

"That’s just the way this league is right now. There’s no question it’s built on parity. The more players you acquire, the more players you’re going to lose at a certain point. We’d love to have all our guys back. Unfortunately, we’re not going to have them all back. We have to set up a pecking order based on what the landscape looks like in the draft and free agency."

Irvin could be looking for a deal similar to the one the Philadelphia Eagles signed Vinny Curry to earlier this offseason.

The day after the season ended, Irvin said he'd be willing to take a hometown discount. But that stance could obviously change by the time free agency starts, especially considering how much money teams will have to spend.

It's still early in the process, but the most likely scenario right now is probably that Irvin finds a market and gets an attractive deal elsewhere in free agency.