We’re into the second week of free agency and as of Tuesday morning, you’ve probably noticed that news on K.J. Wright’s future is virtually non-existent.
The longtime Seattle Seahawks linebacker remains unsigned as an unrestricted free agent. While he remains a high-level player and has been an integral part of Seattle’s defense for his entire career, it’s been a very quiet market for non-pass rushing outside linebackers through the first week.
Wright said prior to the start of free agency that he’d love to remain in Seattle, but a hometown discount was off the table. He previously received a two-year extension worth $15.5 million in the 2019 offseason.
If you take a look at the outside linebackers who have signed new contracts, the top three in APY (Shaquill Barrett, Bud Dupree, Matt Judon) are all edge rushers. Haason Reddick flipped over to full-time edge rusher for his breakout 2020 season and got an $8 million, one-year deal from the Carolina Panthers. Even at inside linebacker there’s been very little movement and indeed not too many notable names in the first place.
This isn’t to say that the Seahawks will re-sign Wright but the odds of a long-term deal are slim and none, and prospects of him being paid anywhere near the top OLBs in the league are bleak. Seattle has been fortunate to have had such outstanding play from K.J. for only $11.5 million in guaranteed salary and just over $31 million in total base pay over a ten-season span. But based on the market that has been set you have to think Seattle keeping Wright is very much a possibility.
And as an aside, notice how you’ve heard nothing about Carlos Dunlap either. Maybe there is hope that the Seahawks do re-sign him to a reduced salary after all.