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Free agent linebacker K.J. Wright has been looking for the right NFL team, bound for the playoffs yet willing to give the veteran a contract worth his Pro Bowl presence. Coming off a 10-year run with the Seattle Seahawks, the strong-side linebacker hopes that a contending team will swoop in and offer him a crucial role in their defense, weeks before the new season kicks off.
While the Seahawks appear rejuvenated — courtesy of a class of young defensive talent led by Bobby Wagner — Wright still has yet to eliminate a return to Seattle from his list of potential destinations.
During an interview on Sirius XM Radio, the wandering Wright was asked whether the door was shut or whether he’d consider returning home to Seattle this upcoming season.
“Yes, there is a chance,” Wright said. “There is a chance, and I’m not closing the door on Seattle. Going into free agency, I thought it’d be a no-brainer, but they’re going to wait until training camp, so we’ll see. No matter what happens, my career in Seattle was just unforgettable.”
The biggest disconnect between Wright and a reunion in Seattle is his expectations about what his role will become and whether he should accept the minimum offered by the front office.
While the defense is under the direction of DC Ken Norton, Jr., formerly a linebackers coach who worked with K.J. early in his career, the team hopes to wedge Wright into the defense behind fresher faces.
Since Seattle intends to lean on their 2020 draft picks Darrell Taylor and Jordyn Brooks a bit more, the team maintains leverage in contract discussions and will need Wright to be flexible if he wants to get back on the team.
“For me, I believe that it’s what a team wants from me,” added Wright. “I know what I provide to a team, I know that coming off my two best seasons after I suffered a knee injury – had my two best years, played phenomenal, switched positions…I know that I can go into a training camp, pick up the playbook, nice and easy…[and] go out to perform in any position that want me at.”
Seattle may need to rethink offering him a contract of only one year or that offers just a veteran’s minimum. Otherwise, teams like the Eagles, Jaguars or Dolphins may step in to give Wright a multi-year offer too valuable to pass up.