While fans await the release of the full 2022 NFL schedule Thursday, the NFL offseason is slowly moving forward, with the slow period of the summer news cycle just around the corner. For fans of the Seattle Seahawks, it means a unique offseason, as for the first time since 2012 there are questions surrounding the quarterback position following the trade of Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos.
That said, quarterback isn’t the only position at which the team will need to answer questions during the offseason. In addition to figuring out who will follow up the most successful quarterback in franchise history, the Hawks are also working through figuring out who will fill the big shoes left open at linebacker on the other side of the ball following the release of Bobby Wagner. However, also left to be filled is the second inside linebacker spot that will presumably need to be filled as the team moves to a 3-4 system under new defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt.
That need for a second off ball linebacker has led to speculation that long time Seahawk and fan favorite K.J. Wright could return to the team. That idea has picked up steam since Wright mentioned that he would love to return to the Hawks, and head coach Pete Carroll mentioned recently that the two sides had discussed just such an idea.
However, on Monday while speaking to Seattle Sports 710 AM, general manager John Schneider appeared to put any idea of a return to rest for the time being.
Asked about KJ Wright, Schneider says "both Pete and I have met with him this offseason. He's trying to figure some things out, too, as we are. But probably be in some sort of non-playing role.''— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) May 9, 2022
So, while K.J. and the fans hold out hope for a return, it appears that just as was the case last offseason, that ship may have sailed. As such, while fans wonder who will be filling the second inside linebacker spot, the reality of the situation is that the Hawks are likely to spend the majority of the snaps this season in nickel or dime subpackages. That will likely reduce the need for the second inside linebacker spot to just a quarter or a third of defensive snaps, making it less of a pressing need than many may believe it is.
However, regardless of how big a need the second inside linebacker spot is or is not, it seems all but certain that it will be someone other than K.J. Wright manning the spot when the Seahawks take to the field in 2022.