It likely took longer than he would’ve liked, but linebacker K.J. Wright has officially joined a team in time for the start of the 2021 season.
He practiced with the Raiders for the first time on Monday, a week ahead of the team’s season opener against the Ravens. But waiting for the right opportunity apparently wasn’t always easy for Wright.
“I’ve been pissed all offseason. I’ve been very angry,” Wright told reporters on Monday, via Anthony Galaviz of The Fresno Bee. “I’ve been at peace, but I’ve been mad at the same time if that makes sense. I had a lot of people doubting me all this offseason. I’m still keeping it going.
“I’m thankful to be here, but that burning desire that you’re talking about, it’s on 100 right now.”
To this point, every snap of Wright’s NFL career had been with the Seahawks. They selected him in the fourth round of the 2011 draft and Wright has appeared in 144 games with 140 starts. Playing all 16 games last year — the final season of a two-year deal he signed in March 2019 — Wright recorded 86 total tackles, a pair of sacks, 11 tackles for loss, 10 passes defensed, an interception, and a forced fumble.
Wright told reporters he’ll play a variety of spots on Las Vegas’ defense, given his familiarity with the scheme and coordinator Gus Bradley from their shared time in Seattle. And the linebacker noted that he liked the Raiders’ energy from watching the club during the preseason.
“It’s a new chapter and I felt like guys welcomed me in with open arms,” Wright said. “Coach Gruden introduced us in the team meeting. It felt really good to be out here and I feel like I’m connected with the guys already.”