The Atlanta Falcons bolstered their pass rush by adding Bruce Irvin, and they could be getting another key player back for their defense.
Irvin, an Atlanta native who went to high school in nearby Stone Mountain, Georgia, agreed to terms on a one-year deal with his hometown Falcons on Wednesday, four days after being released by the Oakland Raiders.
Sources told ESPN that Irvin will make $1.5 million from the Falcons for the remainder of the season, and he will also get $3.76 million from the Raiders once he files proper paperwork for termination pay.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn said he expects to immediately incorporate Irvin, who is scheduled to join the team for meetings and practice Thursday after taking a physical.
Quinn also announced that Pro Bowl middle linebacker Deion Jones is set to return to practice for the first time since being placed on injured reserve after September foot surgery. The Falcons are allowed to designate two players to return from IR per season.
Irvin told ESPN earlier Wednesday that he declined more lucrative contract offers from the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers. Financial terms of his deal with the Falcons have not been disclosed.
"This was a dream [come] true," he said. "The Patriots and Steelers offered more money, but being able to play for my city and my people -- you just can't put a price on that."
Irvin echoed those sentiments later Wednesday morning on Twitter.
Man it's time! You can't put a price on the chance for me to play for my people and city! It's bigger than money!— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) November 7, 2018
The deal reunites Irvin with Quinn, who spent two seasons as Irvin's defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks in 2013 and 2014. That familiarity should make Irvin ready for game action when the Falcons visit the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, according to Quinn.
"No. 1, it was an opportunity for us to add another pass-rusher into our group," Quinn said. "For me, I've had obviously experience with him, and to have that familiarity with the scheme and how we want to play and the style and attitude we love to rush with, we'll feature him as a pass-rusher within the group."
Irvin, who has 40 career sacks in parts of seven seasons with Oakland and Seattle, figures to bolster a struggling Falcons pass rush that has just 17 sacks, tied for fifth lowest in the NFL.
"We're very fortunate to be able to have him here," Quinn said. "Very cool for him to be able to come back home where he's got so many roots and family. Past that, for us to add a pass-rusher and not have to give away a draft pick in the future or a player in the future -- man, this is a win-win for both sides."
While Irvin should help the pass rush, the return of Jones could improve the Falcons' run defense. The star linebacker is not eligible to play until Atlanta's game against the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 18.
"It might provide a spark for the offense because [Jones] will be on the scout team today," Quinn joked. "He's very excited to get going. He's not going to get tons of reps today, but we're going to take great care of him to make sure that he's going to meet all his markers along the way. Having his energy back on the field, his ability to communicate, he's really pumped to get going."
Quinn said Jones still has to get back in football shape and applauded Jones for working hard to get back on the field from the broken foot. Jones is considered one of the top coverage linebackers and will help with tackling once he does return to game action.