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What will the Seahawks' plan be for replacing Bruce Irvin?

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin deciding to leave will not surprise head coach Pete Carroll or general manager John Schneider.

Schneider acknowledged the strong possibility last month at the scouting combine. And on Tuesday evening, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Irvin is expected to sign with the Oakland Raiders when the new league year begins Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.

Now the Seahawks need to come up with a replacement, and that won't be easy. Irvin played 71.4 percent of the Seahawks' snaps last year and served a versatile role, playing outside linebacker in the team's base look and moving to right defensive end in nickel. On passing downs, he rushed the quarterback 69.5 percent of the time and dropped into coverage on 30.5 percent of the plays, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The truth is the Seahawks might need to use multiple players to fill Irvin's role if they can't find one who's versatile enough. When Irvin sat out a Week 11 game last year because of an injury, Mike Morgan started at outside linebacker, but he played only 42 percent of the snaps. The Seahawks replaced him with a better pass-rusher in their sub packages.

That could be the formula in 2016.

There are some intriguing potential replacements on the free-agent market. Nick Perry of the Green Bay Packers could certainly play right defensive end in the Seahawks' sub packages. He's a fantastic athlete and played for Carroll at USC. Depending on his contract demands, Perry could make a lot of sense.

If the Seahawks are looking strictly for an edge rusher who might not have high salary demands, perhaps William Hayes, Mike Neal or Chris Long could fit.

Courtney Upshaw of the Baltimore Ravens has been a disappointment as a pass-rusher, but he can play the run well and drop into coverage.

As for the Seahawks' current roster, the options appear slim. Morgan is an unrestricted free agent, but the team could bring him back as insurance. Or they could put Kevin Pierre-Louis on the field with Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright in their base looks. In that scenario, Wright probably would move to the strong side.

The Seahawks could go in a number of different directions. And while they've had plenty of time to come up with a plan for replacing Irvin, his versatility will certainly be missed.