For 10 seasons, linebacker K.J. Wright was a key piece of Seattle’s defense.
A fourth-round pick in 2011, he became a full-time starter as a rookie. And he ended up playing 144 games for the franchise through the 2020 season.
But the Seahawks elected to let him hit free agency last offseason. It took until September for Wright to land with a team, signing with the Raiders to reunite with his former defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
Wright ended up playing 37 percent of Las Vegas’ defensive snaps in 2021, appearing in all 17 games with eight starts. He’s now a free agent again, but at this point, there’s only one team he’s willing to play for.
“I mean, I love ball, but I’m not willing to pick up and leave my family like I did last year,” Wright said in an interview with SiriusXM’s “I Am Athlete Tonight” show, via Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune. “Because my family had to stay back. They didn’t come with me to Vegas. I’m not doing that again.
“And so I think it’s pretty well known where I stand at, how I want to end my career, going into my 12th season. … If it’s not in Seattle, then I’ll be all good.”
Wright added that leaving the game would hurt, but it would be worth it to stay around his family.
“I know that walking away from the game will be, you know, that that’s hard to do,” Wright said. “But they [the Seahawks] know where I stand. They know where I stand.
“But I love my family more than I love football. So I’m not willing to just up and go to a team mid-season for five months. I got three kids and I love them way more than just up and leaving them to play some ball. … So we’ll see. Seattle knows my heart. It only makes sense for me to go back. And so we’ll see what they end up doing.”
Bell noted that at present, the Seahawks are unlikely to offer Wright a contract or playing role he’d accept for 2022.
If that remains the case, Wright appears unlikely to continue his career. But things can certainly change once training camps begin around the league next month.