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Should the Bengals sign DE Bruce Irvin?

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With Carl Lawson out for the year, Bruce Irvin would be a perfect short-term solution opposite Carlos Dunlap.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

While many were disappointed in Carl Lawson’s lacking sack numbers this season, his presence was known by opposing offenses. He was second on the team in pressures prior to his injury and certainly warranted enough attention to create opportunities for Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins who have combined for 13 of the team’s 21 sacks.

Now that Lawson is out for the season, the Bengals should add another skilled pass rusher. Fortunately for the Bengals, one has just become available.

Veteran edge-rusher Bruce Irvin was cut by the Oakland Raiders on Monday, which is inexplicable given the fact that he led the team with three sacks on the season. The Raiders have had trouble all season generating pressure without Khalil Mack, whom they traded away right before the season.

Obviously, three sacks is not an out-of-this-world number through eight games, but in the two previous seasons (when playing opposite Mack) he had seven and eight sacks, respectively.

Irvin, who recently turned 31, still possess excellent burst and bending ability off the edge. He’s also one of the more productive edge rushers in the past seven years.

Had a franchise traded for Irvin before last week’s deadline, it would’ve been a low-risk investment with potential to boom in the short term. Now all it takes to acquire Irvin is just a waiver claim, as he will put on the waiver wire today at 4 pm EST.

Adding an established veteran like Irvin is exactly the type of move a team in the playoff hunt should make to fill a void left by an in season injury. Signing him would give the Bengals a viable pass rush threat opposite Dunlap, while allowing the team to continue to use Sam Hubbard, Jordan Willis, and Michael Johnson in their current roles, and not diminishing Hubbard and Willis’ value in the long run.


Should the Bengals sign Bruce Irvin?

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Update: Irvin went unclaimed on the waiver wire on Tuesday and is free to sign with any NFL team.