Sunday marks nine weeks since the Seattle Seahawks lost to the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, and it also marks the fifth day of the league year for the NFL. For most, the fifth day of the NFL league year is not a date of which to make note, however, for Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright, it is. In particular, the fifth day of the league year marks the date when some fans may slow their demands that Wright become a cap casualty.
So, Saturday Field Gulls took a look at Justin Britt and evaluated the possible outcomes regarding his future with the team, and now it’s time to look at Wright. For Wright, it’s a far easier analysis because, as noted at OverTheCap.com, Sunday is important to Wright and the Seahawks because:
Wright can earn a $1 million roster bonus on the 5th day of the 2020 league year.
So, as noted above, with Sunday marking the fifth day of the league year, and the Seahawks having not released Wright on Saturday, the cap space available to save by releasing wright just fell by $1M. It will likely take a few days for the salary cap sites like OTC and others to update, but relatively soon Wright’s page should reflect the new reality: if he is released it will leave Seattle with $3.5M in dead money and provide $6.5M in cap space.
The most logical way to interpret this is that if the team intended to release Wright for cap purposes, he would have already been released. If the team was looking to save cap space by moving on from Wright, the way to maximize the cap space saved would have been to release him prior to this bonus coming due.
That means Wright likely is on the roster when training camp opens, and the only way he winds up a cap casualty is if he loses his starting role during camp. With youngsters like Cody Barton or Ben Burr-Kirven vying to replace him, it’s certainly possible that this could happen. It’s certainly possible that Wright could find himself in a position where team asks him to take a pay cut, but as of now that’s a conversation that likely takes place in late August or early September. It doesn’t make much sense for the front office to hand Wright $1M and then turn right around and ask him to take a pay cut.
In short, it’s probably time to stop expecting Wright to be cut in order to free up cap space to sign a pass rusher or an offensive lineman. He is on the roster, he just got paid $1M and he’s most likely in line to be a starter at linebacker this season. What it appears he is not likely to become is a cap casualty, at least not in the next five months.