Why the Seahawks should try and sign David Irving

October 16th, 2020 | Written by Rob Staton

He retired in 2019 but David Irving is back and available as a free agent

David Irving retired abruptly in March 2019 after he was suspended indefinitely for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse. He’d already served two earlier suspensions. He became an activist for cannabis and opened a cannabis business with a focus on CBD-related products. He also co-founded his own cannabis advocacy magazine called Cannabis Passport with John Scannell.

Here is what he said about his retirement in an interview earlier this year:

“I know the perception people have of me is that I’m some sort of gangsta, homeless pothead… But I gave up football for a bigger cause. I want to change the bias toward marijuana. I want to educate America that it’s not a drug, it’s medicine. The real reason I’m not in the NFL is that I’d rather be out here saving lives.”

“I’ve been smoking since I was in middle school. Always had a 3.0 GPA. Never had any trouble with the law. We just need to stop already with the lies and misconceptions… Marijuana is easing the pain of cancer patients. It’s adding years to dogs’ lives. It could help the NFL with its CTE problem, too. The stereotypes are nonsense. It’s just like prohibition, only 100 years later.”

Irving estimates he suffered 25 concussions playing football.

The new CBA has relaxed rules on marijuana use. It has reduced the testing period from four months to the two weeks at the start of training camp. A new threshold for a positive test has been put in place, raising the allowed amount of THC from 35 nanograms to 150.

If a player tests positive during the two week stretch of training camp, his test is reviewed by a board of medical professionals that have been appointed by both the players and league. The board then decides if the player needs treatment — rather than a suspension being immediately issued.

This is a massive change and undoubtedly one of the reasons why Irving feels comfortable returning to the game. He has been reinstated into the league today and is available to sign with any team as a free agent.

It’s also necessary to point out that he was investigated over an alleged domestic violence incident but the case was closed in March 2018.

So should the Seahawks consider signing him?

It’s no secret that the defensive line has struggled so far. The pass rush is weak, the Vikings ran all over Seattle last week. They need to find ways to add talent and this is the kind of opportunity they simply have to take.

If you’re willing to pluck Jonathan Bullard off Arizona’s practise squad, put Snacks Harrison on a crash diet and drag Damontre Moore off his couch the week before the season starts — you have to make a serious push to see if Irving can offer something.

No contracts are guaranteed at this point so if it doesn’t work out — nothing is lost. Bring him in, see if he can help. What have you got to lose?

This is what he brings to the table — 6-7, 275lbs of size. A wingspan stretching nearly 88 inches. Arms that are 36 inches long. He ran a 4.84 forty at his pro-day with an excellent 1.69 10-yard split. His vertical jump was 38 inches and he ran a 10-8 broad. His short shuttle was a superb 4.52 and his three-cone a 7.27.

Speed, size, length, agility and explosive power.

No wonder he managed 12 sacks in 25 games for the Cowboys.

You can play him off the edge and kick him inside. While the Seahawks already are well stacked in that area — they don’t have anyone quite like Irving.

Aldon Smith was given a chance by Dallas this season and he’s flashed even if he’s not at his unstoppable best from a few years ago. If Irving can come in and inject some talent and help increase Seattle’s sack percentage from a measly 3.6% to something closer to the 7-8% mark — that’ll be a huge boost for the defense.

Furthermore he’s only 27 years old. If it works out, he might even be someone who can be part of the roster beyond this year.

He’s unlikely to be expensive. If you’re prepared to wait on Josh Gordon (who still hasn’t been reinstated), why wouldn’t you take the opportunity to see if Irving can fill your biggest need?

Pete Carroll loves a reclamation project. Heck — they seemingly even toyed with the idea of signing Antonio Brown on multiple occasions over the last year or so.

Really, what have they got to lose with David Irving?

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82 Responses to “Why the Seahawks should try and sign David Irving”

  1. Submanjoe says:

    Sign him please!

  2. What a smart and right on analysis. I don’t always agree with Rob, but he’s right on here.

    • Rob Staton says:

      To be fair there’s rarely much to disagree with.

      I put a lot of thought into my views.

      Most people who disagree simply don’t like it when I deliver a few home truths about the Seahawks.

      Those people who can’t handle that — they’re the ones with the problem not me. Not everything they do is brilliant. I’m very happy to point out when it is — and for most of the last decade it has been a sea of positivity on here. When they don’t do a good job, I’m not going to pretend otherwise.

  3. Gohawks5151 says:

    I’ve been cheering for this kid. He is a monster. He has real talent, rare measurements and should be given a chance. I would be worried about Dallas since he is familiar with them and they need DL too and that division sucks. You would figure Seattle has to be an attractive option. There is rumor floating around 6 teams are interested. Hopefully we are in that talk

  4. Sea Mode says:

    Side note: anyone else been getting the “critical error on this website” page when clicking on a post? Has happened to me on the last two articles. Just wanted to see if it is only me or something affecting others too.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I haven’t — but I think I know the problem.

      It’s the videos I loaded in the draft notes article earlier this week. Post too many and the site crashes for some reason until they move off the front page. I tried deleting a couple to see if it helped but it doesn’t seem to have worked. Give it a few days and it’ll be gone from the front page and things will be back to normal.

    • Chris Alexander says:

      Frankly, given the need, the fit, and dude’s measurables – not to mention his averaging basically 0.5 sacks per game, In am a bit surprised Seattle didn’t commit to signing him before he was reinstated, a la the “Josh Gordon method.” That said, I hope Seattle is his first visit and that they don’t let him leave town once he arrives. This is exactly the sort of talent influx Seattle needs and it only takes $$ to make it happen (as opposed to trying to pry Ryan Kerrigan away from Washington, which I’m also in favor of).

  5. Rob Staton says:

    I thought it was funny when Russell Wilson basically tells Brandon Shell off here for not celebrating enough after the touchdown!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij3IpLqriF0

    It’s a good job I’m not a NFL player. I know you probably think I’m a miserable British bastard but I’d be too amped after a moment like that. Even Russell would tell me to calm down.

  6. Sea Mode says:

    “Cam, cover your f****ng guy!” 🤣

    How Russell Wilson became the Turning Point Genie | NFL Turning Point
    https://youtu.be/Ij3IpLqriF0

  7. cha says:

    I think the Seahawks should be exploring every avenue and this is one they should be looking at.

    The COVID practice squad rules make this a much easier decision. They could sign him to the PS, evaluate him and get him in game shape and then make a call. If he’s not in shape or doesn’t spark for whatever reason, you haven’t cut a guy off your active roster to make room for him.

    I really, really hope the NFL permanently adopts some version of this practice squad policy. It’s beneficial for everyone.

  8. CaptainJack says:

    I’m going to be more disappointed than I should be when he signs elsewhere.

    Absolutely should roll the dice.

  9. smityy1547 says:

    Get it done! Go Hawks

  10. Simo says:

    Are we even sure he wants to come back and play? I didn’t read that anywhere in the piece. If he’s truly had 25 concussions it might be best if he stays retired.

    I support kicking the tires though if he plans to play, and if he gets reinstated!

    • Rob Staton says:

      Yes he has stated a desire to return and play

    • Steve Nelsen says:

      He applied for reinstatement so he is actively pursuing playing again. I have to admit the “25 concussions” comment really set off red flags for me. I have known some people suffering from multiple concussions and it is a hard life. Hopefully he wasn’t using “concussions” in a medical sense.

      • God of Thunder says:

        “ Hopefully he wasn’t using “concussions” in a medical sense.”

        What the ——-??? 25 concussions? Either he’s baked or he’s lying or he’s had 26 and the last one addled his brain. If those are legit concussions he shouldn’t play.

  11. Kingdome1976 says:

    I stopped reading at “25 Concussions”. I’d rather let him live his life without another one that could end it.

    • Rusty says:

      Might not be out of the ordinary if he’s just talking self-diagnosed ones he’s sustained since like middle school

    • GerryG says:

      While I agree, I’m pretty sure everybody in the NFL has had that many

    • charlietheunicorn says:

      That is no joke. I likely got one in soccer/football long ago… scary stuff. Now we have way more data and studies about what repeated brain injury/trauma can do to a person over time. It’s his life, his dream to play in the NFL, but I’m not sure it is ultimately worth it if he has indeed had that many “concussions” playing football.

      I always feel for the guys who played in the 60 and 70 and dare I say 80s that are now wrecks. Physically they are broken, but the guys who can’t barely function on their own, well past their glory days, which is truly sad.

  12. Spencer Duncan says:

    Yes please! I’m sure there will be a level of interest from every team in the league, but Seattle at 5-0 with their biggest weakness coming from the position he plays, must be an enticing opportunity.

  13. Ukhawk says:

    First Neal, now this was a pleasing debut for a practice squad guy

    Let’s see if it continues against better teams

    https://www.si.com/nfl/seahawks/news/film-breakdown-jonathan-bullard-makes-strong-first-impression-in-seahawks-debut

    • Rob Staton says:

      Let’s just wait and see.

      Ryan Neal hasn’t played that well to be honest. He had the hit against Miami and two fairly straight forward picks.

      No offense to the article but it’s the easiest thing in the world to do put together a video or an article looking at a small sample of snaps and writing a positive review. People are actively making a living out of making videos on YT that do this. Fans lap it up.

      Let’s give it five games and then make a judgement, not after 23 snaps even if they were positive as a start.

  14. charlietheunicorn says:

    Seattle has a tremendous amount of spare parts on the roster right now…. guy cycling in and out of the DL room. How are they ever going to get consistency and effectiveness if they are continuing to add/subtract players at multiple spots?

    I understand they are outgunned on the DL right now, but making more changes seems counter productive. I guess, if you have to make a change I would rather bring in Takk McKinley, only because he is in NFL shape from day 1 on the roster. David Irving feels more like a dice roll that he can get in shape and be productive on the field. I had thought I heard he was headed back to the Cowboys? I guess we will see where he lands.

    • Rob Staton says:

      There are no reports on him heading back to Dallas.

      And if they are willing to roll the dice on Snacks Harrison getting into shape, why not someone with an elite physical profile?

  15. charlietheunicorn says:

    NFL free agents and players acquired from other teams will have the clock start on their six-day COVID-19 entry testing process the day they arrive, even if they’re not tested on day one, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports.

    The new ruling will take effect on Saturday, Oct. 17.

  16. Rob Staton says:

    New bye-week podcast with Robbie on the blog later today (it’s on YouTube already) plus an article on a quarterback who is MASSIVELY underrated.

  17. Ukhawk says:

    Yep, as said, let’s see if they both continue to produce and improve esp vs better teams

    Hmmm but I do think Neal has played pretty well above expectations and may see some time in nickel after Jamal returns

    Per the Seattletimes “Neal’s grade of 74.7 ranks fifth among all safeties and is the best for any Seattle defender other than linebacker K.J. Wright. Neal’s pass-coverage grade is seventh among all safeties, with PFF charting Neal playing 60 of his 100 snaps at free safety.”

    I’m not saying he’s a future franchise player but credit due and not bad for a practice squad guy thrust into the starting lineup.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I don’t know what the Seattle Times are looking at. That isn’t Neal’s grade. He’s at a 62.8 based on 187 defensive snaps. That’s 32nd among safeties.

      Of course the Times shouldn’t be revealing those numbers because PFF doesn’t allow you to quote their Elite stats as we discovered this week.

      And I didn’t criticise Neal. The fact he’s done anything is a plus point. I simply said we need a bit of a reality check here. People are saying they ‘must’ find a role for him when Adams returns. He’s had a couple of nice moments but that’s about it. To me he’s a nice backup option which is perfectly fine.

      • JC3 says:

        Have faith in people man, once upon a time they took a QB name David Krieg straight out of garbage bin.

        • Rob Staton says:

          It’s nothing to do with faith. Weird reply.

          It’s OK to analyse how a player has actually played.

          Not sure when Seahawks fans decided they wanted to live in a bubble of never discussing anything unless it’s in the most flattering terms but it’s unbecoming.

      • Sea Mode says:

        I think I’m gonna roll with calling them POOOFF grades for now.

      • Rusty says:

        The Seattle Times blurb was pre-Vikings game, he had 100 snaps played after the Dolphins game, now at 187 (holy crap Vikings ran 87 plays lol)

        But yeah I agree it’s nice to have his depth and he might be the dime DB to come in, perfectly fine

  18. Big Mike says:

    Yeah take a chance on this guy, Sign him. Or sign Matthews. Or maker a trade. Do something PCJS! Something. Please

  19. Mike says:

    I’m skeptical of someone who’s had 25 concussions. Seems like way too many for someone who’s found a new path.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Self diagnosed.

      How many do you think Russell Wilson’s had?

      • Trevor says:

        I can think at least 10 times as a Seahawk when Russ has looked wobbly and I have been shocked several times that he has stayed in the game.

        Of all Russ’s amazing talents his toughness is the one that makes him most special IMO. He is the Cal Ripken of the NFL. Just hope it does not hurt his long term health. I remember reading about Brett Favre and the things he did to play every week and it was scary. Sometimes these type guys are so driven and mentally tough they need to be protected from themselves and I hope someone is looking out for Russ.

      • Mike says:

        No idea. Do you know?

  20. CaptainJack says:

    Does anyone else feel that this wide receiver group still very much needs a Josh Gordon third down possession receiver type? Moore has made big time plays but continues to be inconsistent on a game by game basis.

    • cha says:

      Eventually, sure. Right now? I’d like to see the offense use the guys they already have on the roster more.

      • Steve Nelsen says:

        Yes. Especially the TEs. I thought Olsen would get used more on 3rd down because he is so good at finding open holes in zone defenses. And now that Dissly has proven to be healthy, he seems underutilized too. That TD against Minnesota was a reminder of how he can be a mismatch to defend underneath. Overall, I think Seattle could do a better job of utilizing intermediate routes to keep drives moving.

      • Uncle Bob says:

        As much as I think Gordon’s golden hands would be a positive addition I’m with ya cha on the use of current crew. That two high coverage that the Vikings used a lot just screamed for Olsen to be the outlet………..he’s made a career of exploiting that kind of thing. I’ve been all in on Schotty seeming to have better visibility and play calling from the booth, but I just can’t figure the apparent misuse of Olsen.

        • TomLPDX says:

          I wouldn’t be surprised to see our TEs get more targets after the bye. They really are an untapped resource to this point.

          • Uncle Bob says:

            It would make sense with some of the D line talent the next several games should have, LAR in particular. If they don’t, there could be another run of 5-6 sack games for Russ.

    • Steve Nelsen says:

      I am looking forward to getting Josh back. I see him more as a “nice to have” rather than a “need.” But, he developed good chemistry with Russ last year and showed good hands.

  21. Happy Hawk says:

    Great read Rob! David Irving is the perfect guy to sign. I remember watching him and he always jumped off the screen with his speed, reach, and athleticism. He is still young and looks like he wants to find a new home and play at the top level again. He wont cost us draft capital and little or no cap risk. Even if we sign him I think we should still pursue McKinley, Kerrigan, and even Clay Mathews to get a good quick athletic speed rush rotation. I wonder if Irving was on JS radar? Timing of the reinstatement perfect if the Hawks go after him!

  22. Trevor says:

    If the Hawks could add Irving now and then Kerrigan for a Day #3 pick before the trade deadline I would feel a little better about the DL.

    Then two long shots (Snacks getting in shape, Taylor getting healthy) could make the DL decent.

    Those 4 additions would not make the DL elite but at least competitive and the difference between an early playoff exit and a true SB caliber roster.

    • Lewis says:

      If the DL is competitive, it makes the rest of the defense dramatically better. It lets guys like Adams and Wagner shine more and stops forcing them to use guys to manufacture pressure that aren’t very good at it. And even a mid-tier D gives us a much better shot at an SB run.

      So, yeah, this is a no-brainer.

  23. Trevor says:

    Looking forward to Georgia / Alabama today. I have a feeling Georgia might really take it to a ama today despite being underdogs.

  24. Ashish says:

    I need to travel to India due to family’s emergency. Can I watch seahawks games with nfl game pass?

  25. Rusty says:

    Will you be making a post for the bye week podcast ep?

  26. Volume12 says:

    Really like what I’m seeing from S. Carolina CB Jaycee Horn today. Joe Horn’s son.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Just saw this:

      Dane Brugler
      @dpbrugler
      ·1m

      Jaycee Horn has had a busy day. #SouthCarolina

      6 passes defended!
      2 INTs (34 yards)
      2 penalties (defensive holding, PI)

  27. cha says:

    Thanks again for everything Rob.

    I’m reminded of the quality of your work by a piece posted on the top of another Hawks blog that just hit this morning. “The Seahawks defense is actually better off without Clowney.”

    I don’t like to jump on a blog to criticize another blog. But my goodness.

  28. Frank says:

    Exactly the type of player you’d love to see the Hawks take a low risk flier on. I wonder if from a chemistry or in this case chemical point of view pairing him with Josh Gordon on a team seems like a risk? I’d kick the tires in JS position, but wonder if it’s a him or Gordon proposition.

    • Chris Alexander says:

      Neither Gordon nor Irving would likely impact Seattle’s cap much given they’re unlikely to sign for more than $1M or so and even that amount would be prorated based on when they actually join the active roster. Seriously doubt it’s an either or proposition but more so just a question of whether they’re actually INTERESTED in Irving and, if so, how much.

      Note: Per reports, Irving will be working out with the Raiders first. (Personally hoping they don’t sign him.)

      • Frank says:

        I meant because Gordon has had so much trouble with marijuana, and Irvin retired to be an activist for CBD and Marijuana. Personally I don’t see weed as a big deal, but Gordon has gone thru a lot of BS because he struggles to stay off the grass.

  29. Troy D. says:

    We should be doing this 100%. Anybody with talent should be called cause we need the help. Trade for Kerrigan or McKinley and grab a swing for the fences guy like Irving and hope.

  30. jopa726 says:

    Just a reminder to all sportswriters and media, Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll is not the NFL’s oldest coach. That is the Houston Texans interim Head Coach Romeo Crennel, who is 73 years old. Thanks.

  31. RWIII says:

    Joppa. Thanks for the update.

    Count me in on David Irving. The Hawks have nothing to lose. No draft pick needed to acquire Irving. The question is when would this guy be football ready. Actually the same can be said for Snacks Harrison. At least with Harrison the Hawks will have the last 2+ weeks working to get him ready.

  32. JimmyRaider says:

    Well , hes a Raider now… 🙂 Not sure what kind of playing shape he is in, guessing he has been working out for awhile… but he will definitely contribute this season !!

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