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.
“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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