Irvin, an Atlanta native, spoke with ESPN's Vaughn McClure about his decision: "This was a dream [come] true. 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."
He also tweeted the following:
It was more of the same for the rebuilding Raiders after they traded pass-rusher Khalil Mack and wide receiver Amari Cooper earlier in the season. Those trades netted a number of draft picks for a franchise looking toward the future under head coach Jon Gruden.
Schefter had previously reported the Raiders were looking to trade Irvin but noted he "is the type of pass-rusher whom many teams covet, but to date, no one has been willing to take on his $8 million base salary this season and $9 million next."
Oakland's loss is Atlanta's gain after the veteran had three sacks in eight games in 2018 prior to his release.
Irvin entered the league in 2012 as a first-round draft pick out of West Virginia and played his first four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. He made an immediate impact with eight sacks as a rookie and tallied 22 sacks during his tenure in the NFC West. He also helped the Seahawks win one Super Bowl and reach another.
The Raiders signed him prior to the 2016 campaign, and he continued his prowess as a pass-rusher with 15 combined sacks in his first two years before the 2018 season.
While the Falcons have some talented pass-rushers in Vic Beasley Jr., Takkarist McKinley, Jack Crawford and Grady Jarrett, they are tied for 27th in the NFL with 17 sacks this season. Beasley has struggled with just one sack after recording 15.5 in 2016, and Irvin's arrival could potentially open things up for him.
Atlanta is on a roll with three wins in a row since starting 1-4, and Irvin should help make the Falcons an even bigger threat to nab a playoff spot in the NFC.