One of the most productive players for the Seattle Seahawks of the last decade remains a free agent over a month after the process began.
Linebacker K.J. Wright is still unsigned and in search of somewhere to play the 2021 season after a very strong season for the team last year that including changing positions from weak-side to strong-side linebacker. With last year’s first-round pick, Jordyn Brooks, seemingly penciled in as the heir apparent at Wright’s old spot alongside Bobby Wagner, a continued path forward with the Seahawks after 10 seasons in Seattle appears unlikely.
However, the Seahawks haven’t completely ruled out the possibility of a Wright return for next year.
“Quite frankly, there’s so many coaches that were on our staff that are at different places we thought he would be signed by now,” general manager John Schneider said on Wednesday.
“We have the utmost amount of respect for him. He’s done a ton for this organization. Great person, great leader.”
Schneider is referencing such coaches as former Seattle defensive coordinators Gus Bradley (Las Vegas), Dan Quinn (Dallas) and Kris Richard (New Orleans) having prominent coaching spots elsewhere in the league that may advocate for bringing Wright to their teams. So far that hasn’t happened.
Wright had a career-high 132 tackles and three interceptions for the Seahawks in 2019 and followed-up with 86 tackles, an interception and two sacks last year in moving to a less dynamic role in Seattle’s defense.
Head coach Pete Carroll said he had a conversation with Wright recently about the current situation for both sides.
“I had a really good sit-down with him just the other day to bring it all together. Where we’re coming from, where he’s coming from and talk about the future and what’s possible moving forward,” Carroll said. “We’re nose-to-nose on this deal. Like John said, K.J. has been one of the classiest players you could ever expect to have in your program and has been a fantastic player. And so the door is not closed to us in what we’re doing moving forward. We were very clear about that and felt very good about where we are with K.J.”
The door may not be closed, but it doesn’t seem to be significantly ajar either. Schneider anticipated that the post-draft wave of free agency may be when a deal for Wright finally comes together somewhere.