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Seahawks have options at linebacker, if they prove necessary

Seattle Seahawks v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The calendar will flip to July Thursday, and with that the countdown to training camp for NFL teams across the league will start in earnest. For teams with a new offensive coordinator, like the Seattle Seahawks, the biggest question for fans this upcoming season is what that new offense will look like. However, there are other concerns about which fans have voiced their belief that the team should address, with perhaps no other topic receiving more attention for the Seahawks recently than the potential for a return of K.J. Wright this fall.

There’s been no shortage of fans voicing their hope that Wright will return to reunite with the Hawks, however, as noted last week here on Field Gulls, barring injury, there is not really a role for Wright on the defense at this point in time. In addition, there is another factor that could work to prevent a return to the team for Wright, and that is the simple fact that there is no shortage of players with experience at SAM available on the free agent market.

To get right to the point, Wright is not the only free agent linebacker with experience playing the SAM role which fans are concerned might be too much for Darrell Taylor in his first on field action in the NFL. To get right to the point and lay things out as plainly as possible, here are the three linebackers who have taken snaps for Seattle at SAM over the past couple of seasons and their status.

  • K.J. Wright, free agent
  • Mychal Kendricks, free agent
  • Bruce Irvin, free agent working his way back from knee surgery.

In short, if Wright is going to return to Seattle, he’d not only need to do so in a role that would likely be greatly diminished compared seasons past, he’d also be in competition with others who have experience playing the role fans want to see him fill. That could mean significantly lower salary offers than what he may have hoped for heading into free agency. That, in turn, could lead to a decision between playing for league minimum or thereabouts, or walking away with his health as intact as possible. He wouldn’t be the first player for whom the free agent market didn’t develop as hoped for, and certainly wouldn’t be the last.