Skip to main content

John Schneider Puts Damper on Possible K.J. Wright, Seahawks Reunion

While Wright would be welcomed back with open arms in another role, Seattle won't be re-signing him to play in 2022.

Despite opting not to select a linebacker in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seahawks don't sound interested in bringing back veteran K.J. Wright for a second tour with the team.

One day after coach Pete Carroll told reporters he had talked to Wright about his future and seemed to keep the door slightly cracked open for a return, general manager John Schneider all but slammed the same door shut in an interview with Seattle Sports 710's Dave Wyman and Bob Stelton on Monday.

While Schneider called Wright a "high, high character guy" and expressed his admiration for the player and everything he accomplished with the Seahawks, he admitted a return would have to be in a different capacity.

"[He would] probably have to be in a non-playing role," Schneider stated.

Last week, the 32-year old Wright, who currently ranks third in Seahawks franchise history in tackles, expressed his desire to return to his original team during an interview with host Trey Wingo on the Half-Forgotten History podcast. When asked what his ideal scenario would be for next season, he cut right to the chase.

“I just want to go back home,” Wright responded. “I think it’s that simple. Seattle knows that I want to come back. They know how much they mean to me.”

Last offseason, coming off a fantastic 2020 campaign in which he finished with 86 tackles, 2.0 sacks, and 10 passes defensed, Wright tried to persuade the Seahawks to re-sign him into training camp. But the organization had decided to roll with Darrell Taylor as their new starting strongside linebacker and with Jordyn Brooks ready to be a full-time starter and Bobby Wagner still on the roster at the time, there wasn't a spot for him in the lineup.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

After waiting for the right opportunity, Wright eventually settled on a one-year deal with the Raiders during mid-August, finishing with 51 tackles in 17 games played. While he enjoyed his time in Las Vegas, he told Wingo he wouldn't leave his wife and two children behind again or move them to a different city, insinuating he would either play for the Seahawks or hang up his cleats.

"If it's not Seattle, then I'll be happy and content," Wright said.

While Wagner has since moved on to the Rams after being released in March and the Seahawks didn't draft a linebacker last month, Carroll told reporters after the draft concluded that he felt comfortable with their current depth. With Cody Barton ready to step into the lineup alongside Brooks, Ben Burr-Kirven close to being fully recovered from a torn ACL, and Joel Iyiegbuniwe coming over from the Bears as a free agent, he feels they are set at the position.

Additionally, Seattle signed North Carolina State linebacker Vi Jones as a priority undrafted free agent and after impressing in rookie minicamp, he could potentially factor into the competition for a spot on the 53-man roster as well.

"I feel like we're in good shape in the way we're lining up," Carroll remarked. "Depth-wise and as always we keep, we'll keep working it, but I like the guys that we have and I think we're in good shape there."

With the Seahawks ushering in a new era without Russell Wilson or Wagner, an argument could be made Wright's presence would provide much-needed leadership in the locker room. For that reason, as Schneider suggested, there could be a position waiting for him as an assistant coach or a consultant if he's truly content with stepping away from the playing field. Such an arrangement shouldn't be ruled out.

Of course, Wright may feel he has plenty left in the tank and over time, he could change his mind about his willingness to go elsewhere while he still can.

But the only thing that seems certain? As much as most fans would love to see Wright don his No. 50 jersey once again, barring injuries, he's not part of Seattle's plans in 2022, at least as a player. In the midst of a youth movement on both sides of the ball, if Schneider and Carroll weren't interested in bringing him back last year, there's little reason to consider doing so this year when the team isn't expected to be a playoff contender.