The Seahawks former and possibly future linebacker KJ Wright is still looking for a 2021 home. It could be with Seattle or maybe it shouldn’t be. Wright is still a free agent as training camps begin around the league. It would be awesome to see number 50 back with Seattle. He has been a good linebacker and even better person off the field. Plus, Wright is coming off one of his best seasons.
But at some point, Seattle cannot simply get old. The Seahawks drafted Jordyn Brooks in the first round of 2020 and Cody Barton in the third round of 2019. Not allowing these two to get more snaps means Seattle is wasting draft picks. Brooks, for one, showed a lot of promise when he was on the field last year.
While Brooks is more like Bobby Wagner in style of play, he is fast enough to hold down KJ Wright’s spot. Barton is much like Wright in his ability to cover tight ends. How good he can be won’t be truly known until Seattle takes the chance of playing him but I think he has deserved the chance to be on the field.
What should the Seahawks do about KJ Wright?
The issue with KJ Wright is that the Seahawks know what they are going to get which is a guy who plays every game (throw out Wright’s one season where he was injured a bit in 2018 and Wright has missed just one game over the remaining six years), plays at a relatively high level (Pro Football Focus graded Wright as the seventh-best linebacker in the NFL in 2020) and is a good person to have in the locker room. Wright is a leader and Brooks is not there yet.
Bobby Wagner has said he wants to see Wright back with the Seahawks. Wagner has never played a season in his Hall of Fame career without expecting to play beside Wright. Wagner might be just as good without Wright but we don’t really know that. Familiarity with the players around you, especially nine years of that, is extremely important.
Wright also won’t be overly expensive as obviously, no other team has signed him in free agency yet. Had a team offered Wright $6 million or more he probably would have signed with them.
But what does it say to Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton and even Darrell Taylor if the Seahawks re-sign Wright? Taylor is moving back to play some linebacker from his defensive end position. Doesn’t Brooks, especially, deserve his chance to become a long-term starter?
In 2020, Wright missed on 10.4 percent of his tackles. Brooks, as a rookie, missed on just 5 percent. Wright had 11 tackles for loss while Brooks had 2, but Wright also played 624 more snaps than Brooks.
Jordyn Brooks might not be as good as KJ Wright or he might be better one day. He was a first-round pick for a reason. Wright is a proven player who is 32 years old. Brooks is just beginning to find his way and is 23 years old. At some point, the Seahawks need to take a chance on youth and likely this is the year KJ Wright will not be playing in Seattle.