There are a few key reasons why the Seahawks chose to re-sign Wright.
Wright’s deal is worth $27 million with an average salary of $6.75 million per year. While he most likely could have tested the free-agent waters after this season, both sides could agree on a “discount” if you will, to play on a winning team; a similar situation to Michael Bennett.
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The early signing shows how committed the Hawks are to the former Mississippi State standout, as the following players also happen to be free agents in 2015: Cliff Avril, James Carpenter, Kevin Williams, Byron Maxwell, Malcolm Smith and Jermaine Kearse.
With the looming extensions the Seahawks plan to award Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner before 2016, along with at least two of the 2015 free agents listed above, the Seahawks have taken Wright off the market at a favorable price.
Seattle’s starting weak side linebacker provides more than just a fulfilled roster spot. He brings a rare blend of length, power, coverage skills and versatility. With this new deal, the Seahawks now have one of the three linebacker spots locked up until 2019 with the MLB position up next to receive a payday. K.J. gives you a reliable security blanket in coverage and a versatile fill-in when Bobby Wagner goes down at MLB. Wright even brings pass rushing ability, so with this extension the Hawks have retained an every-down ‘backer for the foreseeable future.
Richard Sherman. Earl Thomas. Doug Baldwin. All considered “core-group” players; and they were rewarded for adopting coach Pete Carroll’s mentality. K.J. Wright is considered by the coaching staff as a member of this group, and is now paid like one too. The front office didn’t want Wright worrying about his upcoming free-agency, so they re-signed him before the end of the season to allow him to focus on the task at hand: returning to the Super Bowl.
All things considered, Wright will be with the team through 2018, MLB Bobby Wagner is likely to be re-signed before 2016 (if not this off-season), which leaves Bruce Irvin, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Malcolm Smith and Mike Morgan to fill the last spot. Smith and Morgan are both free-agents in 2015 and it is unlikely that either are resigned, which leaves Irvin (FA in 2016) and Pierre-Louis (FA in 2018).