During Wednesday’s pre-draft conference with local media, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider divulged some good and bad news about veteran K.J. Wright.
The bad news? The free agent linebacker is not signed yet and the Seahawks are surprised. The good news? Wright remains unsigned and the door is still open for his return to Seattle.
“Quite frankly, there are so many coaches on our staff and that were on our staff that are in difference places, we thought he’d be signed by now,” Schneider said. “I think a lot of teams are going to see what they do in the draft and then kind of come around to some of these veterans that are still available in free agency...
Wright is coming off one of the most impactful seasons of his career. The fourth-round pick by Seattle in 2011 notched 82 tackles (56 solo), two sacks, one interception, and tied Jamal Adams with a team-high 11 tackles for loss in 2020.
But in February, the 31-year-old detailed why he wouldn’t take a hometown discount to stay with the Seahawks.
"I do way too much on the football field to take a discount," Wright said via ESPN. "It makes absolutely no sense. If you want to win all these championships and look good on Sundays, you've got to compensate your guys that are making plays. ... I have a family and I'm trying to set up long, long-term success for my family."
But that was before the free agency gates opened and six weeks later, Wright remains on the NFL’s Big Board of free agents. Perhaps the scales have tipped in Seattle’s favor? Carroll shared that the two parties met as recently as a few days ago to discuss where Wright is in his thought process.
“I had a good sit down with him just the other day to bring it all together,” Carroll said. “Where we’re coming from, we needed to hear where he’s coming from and talk about the future and what’s possible moving forward. So, we’re right nose-to-nose on this deal...
Over 10 seasons in Seattle, Wright has 941 tackles, six interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and 54 pass breakups. He’s a player six-time All-Pro linebacker and defensive team captain Bobby Wagner says the Seahawks need to bring back.
Seattle still has an opportunity to make it happen.
“The door is not closed yet on what we’re doing moving forward,” Carroll said of Wright. “We’re very clear about that and feel really good about where we’re at with K.J.”