Colts Sign LB Nate Irving

Nate Irving will not be back in orange and blue in 2015 and beyond. He has inked a deal with the Colts.

The Denver Broncos lost their seventh player to the open waters of free agency today, as linebacker Nate Irving signed with Conference rival the Indianapolis Colts.

Irving came to the Broncos via the third round of the 2011 NFL draft—General Manager John Elway’s maiden draft class. Due to the NFL lockout, roster injuries and suspensions, Irving didn’t get a chance to shine as the team’s middle linebacker until last season.

In the eight games Irving started, he performed very well as the team’s Mike linebacker, although he had to come off the field on third down. As a two-down thumper, Irving is a better than average inside linebacker with upside.

Returning to Denver didn’t appeal to Irving as much as going to Indy, because he would likely have been a rotational guy behind projected starters at inside linebacker, Brandon Marshall and Danny Trevathan.

Irving isn’t likely guaranteed a starting spot with the Colts, but he’ll have a better shot to compete for one. The Broncos are high on Marshall and Trevathan and consequently, they’ll give the young linebackers every chance to succeed.

Last offseason, the Colts gave D’Qwell Jackson a multi-year deal and although he was solid in 2014, he was far from transcendent. Jerrell Freeman is the other starting Colts ILB. Both players graded out in the negative via Pro Football Focus in 2014. Irving might have an honest chance of competing for a starting slot.

John Elway and Gary Kubiak obviously have a vision of what the 2015 Broncos will look like and the seven free agents they’ve let walk don’t fit into it.

Many saw yesterday's signing of Reggie Walker as the writing on the wall for Irving. Irving signing with Indy the very next day is no surprise, especially given the contract that the Broncos gave Walker (one year, $795K), a significantly cheaper option than Irving, whose deal with the Colts is three years, worth up to $9.25M, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson.

It should be noted that Irving is coming off of a partially torn MCL in his right knee, suffered in Week 9 vs. New England--an injury that landed him on season-ending injured reserve. Its possible the Broncos know something we don't regarding his recovery.

Chad Jensen is the Publisher and Lead Analyst for MileHighHuddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen and on Google+.

Follow MileHighHuddle on Twitter @MileHighHuddle and become a subscriber to receive access to premium content and discounted Broncos tickets.

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Inside linebacker | Safety | Cornerback

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Irving came to the Broncos via the third round of the 2011 NFL draft—General Manager John Elway’s maiden draft class. Due to the NFL lockout, roster injuries and suspensions, Irving didn’t get a chance to shine as the team’s middle linebacker until last season. \r\n

In the eight games Irving started, he performed very well as the team’s Mike linebacker, although he had to come off the field on third down. As a two-down thumper, Irving is a better than average inside linebacker with upside. \r\n

Returning to Denver didn’t appeal to Irving as much as going to Indy, because he would likely have been a rotational guy behind projected starters at inside linebacker, Brandon Marshall and Danny Trevathan. \r\n

Irving isn’t likely guaranteed a starting spot with the Colts, but he’ll have a better shot to compete for one. The Broncos are high on Marshall and Trevathan and consequently, they’ll give the young linebackers every chance to succeed. \r\n

Last offseason, the Colts gave D’Qwell Jackson a multi-year deal and although he was solid in 2014, he was far from transcendent. Jerrell Freeman is the other starting Colts ILB. Both players graded out in the negative via Pro Football Focus in 2014. Irving might have an honest chance of competing for a starting slot. \r\n

John Elway and Gary Kubiak obviously have a vision of what the 2015 Broncos will look like and the seven free agents they’ve let walk don’t fit into it. \r\n

Many saw yesterday's signing of Reggie Walker as the writing on the wall for Irving. Irving signing with Indy the very next day is no surprise, especially given the contract that the Broncos gave Walker (one year, $795K), a significantly cheaper option than Irving, whose deal with the Colts is three years, worth up to $9.25M, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson.\r\n

It should be noted that Irving is coming off of a partially torn MCL in his right knee, suffered in Week 9 vs. New England--an injury that landed him on season-ending injured reserve. Its possible the Broncos know something we don't regarding his recovery. \r\n\r\n

Chad Jensen is the Publisher and Lead Analyst for MileHighHuddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen and on Google+.\r\n\r\n

Follow MileHighHuddle on Twitter @MileHighHuddle and become a subscriber to receive access to premium content and discounted Broncos tickets.\r\n

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Join the Conversation On The MHH Forums and Discuss This Article With Broncos Fans

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All 22: Breaking Down Broncos FS Darian Stewart
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CLICK HERE for NFL free agency stories
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FREE AGENCY POSITIONAL PREVIEWS

\r\nStill to come: Wide receiver \r\n
OFFENSE: Quarterback | Running back | Tight end | \r\n
Offensive tackle | Offensive guard | Center\r\n
DEFENSE: Defensive tackle | Defensive end | Outside linebacker |
Inside linebacker | Safety | Cornerback\r\n

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SCOUT.COM FREE AGENT RANKINGS

\r\n\t\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\t\tProspects by: OVERALL \r\n\t\t\t\t\tRANK | Position | 2014 Team | Signed Team\r\n | Name
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The Denver Broncos lost their seventh player to the open waters of free agency today, as linebacker Nate Irving signed with Conference rival the Indianapolis Colts.

The @Colts get back into free agency by agreeing to terms with ILB-Nate Irving. Adds much needed depth behind Jackson and Freeman.

— Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) March 20, 2015

Irving came to the Broncos via the third round of the 2011 NFL draft—General Manager John Elway’s maiden draft class. Due to the NFL lockout, roster injuries and suspensions, Irving didn’t get a chance to shine as the team’s middle linebacker until last season.

In the eight games Irving started, he performed very well as the team’s Mike linebacker, although he had to come off the field on third down. As a two-down thumper, Irving is a better than average inside linebacker with upside.

Returning to Denver didn’t appeal to Irving as much as going to Indy, because he would likely have been a rotational guy behind projected starters at inside linebacker, Brandon Marshall and Danny Trevathan.

Irving isn’t likely guaranteed a starting spot with the Colts, but he’ll have a better shot to compete for one. The Broncos are high on Marshall and Trevathan and consequently, they’ll give the young linebackers every chance to succeed.

Last offseason, the Colts gave D’Qwell Jackson a multi-year deal and although he was solid in 2014, he was far from transcendent. Jerrell Freeman is the other starting Colts ILB. Both players graded out in the negative via Pro Football Focus in 2014. Irving might have an honest chance of competing for a starting slot.

John Elway and Gary Kubiak obviously have a vision of what the 2015 Broncos will look like and the seven free agents they’ve let walk don’t fit into it.

Many saw yesterday's signing of Reggie Walker as the writing on the wall for Irving. Irving signing with Indy the very next day is no surprise, especially given the contract that the Broncos gave Walker (one year, $795K), a significantly cheaper option than Irving, whose deal with the Colts is three years, worth up to $9.25M, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson.

It should be noted that Irving is coming off of a partially torn MCL in his right knee, suffered in Week 9 vs. New England--an injury that landed him on season-ending injured reserve. Its possible the Broncos know something we don't regarding his recovery.

Join the Conversation On The MHH Forums and Discuss This Article With Broncos Fans

All 22: Breaking Down Broncos FS Darian Stewart
[MEDIA:1496124]



Still to come: Wide receiver
OFFENSE: Quarterback | Running back | Tight end |
Offensive tackle | Offensive guard | Center
DEFENSE: Defensive tackle | Defensive end | Outside linebacker |
Inside linebacker | Safety | Cornerback



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