By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — There is no accounting for taste.
That’s a reality that comes to mind after defensive end Bruce Irvin told ESPN’s Vaughn McClure that despite the Patriots and Steelers offering him more money, the defensive end decided to sign with the Atlanta Falcons.
Irvin, 31, is a native of the Atlanta suburbs, so clearly, his decision was mostly about playing near his home.
Still, if what he’s saying is true, then he turned more money and two much-better opportunities to compete for a Super Bowl by spurning the Patriots and Steelers.
The Patriots are at 7-2, owners of the second-best record in the AFC and in position to earn a first-round playoff bye. The Steelers are at 5-2-1, hot on the heels of the Patriots and Chargers (6-2). Both teams figure to be playing in January, and perhaps beyond.
The Falcons, meanwhile, are at 4-4. They’re in third place in their own division, behind the 7-1 Saints and 6-2 Panthers. They’re currently behind the 5-3-1 Minnesota Vikings for a wild-card playoff spot.
Nevertheless, Irvin — who’s played four seasons in Seattle and two-and-a-half seasons with Oakland — has chosen to go home. He probably won’t be playing in this year’s Super Bowl, which will be held in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. But at least he won’t have to travel if he wants to attend.
Irvin has played in two Super Bowls, both with Seattle. He was part of the win over Denver and the loss to the Patriots a year later, a game during which he recorded Seattle’s lone sack of Tom Brady. That sack came in the fourth quarter on the first play of a drive — a drive which would end with a touchdown pass from Brady to Danny Amendola to cut Seattle’s lead to three points.
The Raiders cut Irvin over the weekend. A first-round pick in 2012, Irvin has three sacks in eight games this year. He’s recorded an even 40 sacks in 98 career regular-season games, plus 3.5 more in 11 playoff games.