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Dec 17, 2017; Oakland, CA: Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Bruce Irvin encourages the crowd before a play against the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter at Oakland Coliseum. (Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports)

Dec 17, 2017; Oakland, CA: Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Bruce Irvin encourages the crowd before a play against the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter at Oakland Coliseum. (Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Former Raiders defensive end Bruce Irvin has a new home in Atlanta, agreeing to a one-year deal with the Falcons. And the Atlanta native admits that he took a hometown discount, which kept him away from New England.

Irvin told ESPN’s Vaughn McClure that he turned down more money from both the Patriots and Steelers to join the Falcons. Just days after signing safety Obi Melifonwu, the Pats apparently made a real push to sign Irvin off the street after the Raiders released him.

“This was a dream [come] true,” said Irvin. “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.”

Irvin is essentially a pure edge rusher at this point in his career. So despite the excellent performance of Trey Flowers and the Patriots defensive front against the Green Bay Packers, they still felt they could use more push in that department. The hope now is that Adrian Clayborn, Deatrich Wise, and others continue to build upon last Sunday night’s strong game.

Irvin joins a Falcons defense that ranks 27th in the NFL with just 17 sacks on the season. They rank 30th in total DVOA and 27th against the pass, according to Football Outsiders.

The Patriots defense, meanwhile, is starting to show legitimate improvement over the past two games. They’ve climbed to 11th in points allowed per game, always a hallmark of Belichick’s defenses. But clearly, they felt they could use even more reinforcements in the front-seven.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.