Colts Sign ILB Nate Irving to 3-Year Deal
By Evan Reller
The Indianapolis Colts have agreed to terms with inside linebacker Nate Irving on Friday. The two sides spent the past few days negotiating before finally working out a deal.
The Colts announced the move on their blog via a Jim Irsay tweet.
Irving spent the previous four seasons with the Broncos. He was the team’s starting middle linebacker in 2014 but his season was cut short due to a knee injury.
The deal is for three years, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
The complete terms of the deal are as of yet unknown.
There are likely a fair number of health related incentives in Irving’s deal as he recovers from an MCL injury (or ACL depending on which insider you ask).
Irving excels in run defense and adds insurance in case D’Qwell Jackson goes down with an injury. Irving struggles in coverage and isn’t particularly effective as a pass rusher, making him a similarly one-dimensional player to Jackson.
Irving started eight games in 2014 for the Broncos. He recorded 46 tackles last season, including six for a loss. Irving played his best game against the Colts in the season opener where he logged his lone sack of the year against Andrew Luck.
The biggest issue with the Colts linebackers last season revolved around struggling in coverage, but the team as a whole was bad against the run. Irving still adds solid depth to a depleted unit and will push for snaps if he is healthy.
This sounds like another low risk signing in the interest of adding proven depth to the roster. Its unlikely that he’d pass either of the current starters on the depth chart, but Irving will be a good player to have as a backup heading into the season.