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Strongest indication yet Bruce Irvin will be back with Raiders in 2018

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NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

This time of year, often all we have to go on as far as the status of players are signs. Recently, despite what seemed like a feeling Bruce Irvin would remain with the Raiders next season, he was not so sure about that.

The always forthcoming and outspoken linebacker was asked about doing his usual ‘Baby Reggie’ duties of recruiting free agents to come to Oakland, responded with uncertainty about whether HE would even still be on the team, saying he “may not be back.

Often times that stems from simply lapse in communication between the team and the player’s agent. There were also rumors the team was looking for him to take a pay cut.

Irvin’s dereliction of his ‘Baby Reggie’ duties was the strongest moment of concern over whether he would be back in 2018. So, by the same token, his tweet Wednesday was the strongest indication everything was good and he was still a Raider.

The “MO Wilk” he’s referring to is former Pro Bowl defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson who was released by the Jets today.

Earlier in the day, Irvin got a vote of confidence from his GM Reggie McKenzie who scoffed at the idea the Raiders were trying to get rid of the veteran pass rusher. Prior to that, head coach Jon Gruden also had some good things to say about Irvin.

“I like Bruce Irvin,” Gruden said. “I know Bruce Irvin. I like him because he plays. If you look at play time, the amount of percentage of snaps, he’s out there all the time. He played through a back problem early in the season. And I really think he’s playing a difficult position because he’s really an edge player, and when you ask him to play over the tight end or over the offensive tackle, at his size he can get beat up. But I think he’s still a very good pass rusher. I think he plays with good effort. We just need to get him some help so that he can do the things that he does best more often.”

I’d say we can now put to bed the notion that Irvin is on his way out of Oakland. Now about that help...