Irvin told ESPN's Vaughn McClure that he chose to sign in his hometown of Atlanta despite the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers both offering more money. The Seattle Seahawks also pursued Irvin, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Man it’s time! You can’t put a price on the chance for me to play for my people and city! It’s bigger than money!
— Bruce Irvin (@BIrvin_WVU11) November 7, 2018
Irvin will be reunited with Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, who served as his defensive coordinator with the Seahawks in 2013 and 2014. The pair won Super Bowl XLVIII together.
"We know exactly how Bruce will fit into our team on the field, and just as importantly into our locker room," Quinn said. "He will add to our rotation along the defensive line, while adding to our pass rush. He is familiar with our scheme and we are familiar with his strengths, so we are looking forward to getting him on the field as soon as possible."
The 31-year-old Irvin had been a free agent since being released by the Oakland Raiders last weekend midway through a four-year, $37-million contract. He'd seen his playing time reduced and was on the field for just nine snaps in Week 9 against the San Francisco 49ers.
The seventh-year pro has recorded 40 sacks, 15 forced fumbles, three interceptions, and two touchdowns over 98 career games. He's missed just six contests since entering the league as the 15th overall pick in 2012.
Irvin now joins a Falcons defense that's struggled since losing safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen for the rest of the season. Linebacker Deion Jones also remains out indefinitely, but he could return at some point later this season after being sent to injured reserve following Week 1.