Former Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright still doesn't have a job for the 2021 season, but that may change in the very near future.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Wright reportedly flew to Las Vegas to meet with the Raiders on Wednesday. Further reports indicated he was expected to return home after the visit and contemplate his options, though it's possible negotiations could lead to an immediate deal.
Wright, 32, spent his first 10 NFL seasons in Seattle starring for several dominant defenses at weakside linebacker alongside Bobby Wagner. The 6-foot-4, 246-pound defender started 140 games during that span, racking up 941 total tackles - third most in franchise history - along with 13.5 sacks and six interceptions. He made one Pro Bowl team and twice was named a nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
One of the most popular players in franchise history, Wright turned in one of his finest seasons for the Seahawks in 2020. Though he wasn't thrilled about the move, he transitioned to strongside linebacker to replace an injured Bruce Irvin in Week 3 and stuffed the stat sheet, registering 86 tackles, 2.0 sacks, and an interception. He also ended the season as the only defensive player in the NFL with double-digit tackles for loss and passes defensed.
Despite that production, however, Seattle decided to move forward without Wright. While coach Pete Carroll has kept the door open for him to potentially return, the team seems content with inserting 2020 first-round pick Jordyn Brooks into the starting lineup at weakside linebacker and athletic hybrid defender Darrell Taylor stepping in as his replacement at the SAM linebacker spot.
To this point, aside from a brief courting with the Cowboys, Wright had not received much interest on the open market due to his age, position, and a lowered salary cap resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. But the Raiders have been linked as a potential landing spot for months due to his relationship with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who held the same position for the Seahawks from 2009 to 2012.
Las Vegas struggled mightily defensively throughout the 2020 season and even considering his diminishing athleticism, Wright would provide an immediate upgrade at linebacker playing in Bradley's familiar scheme. Off the field, he would also give the organization a proven, respected leader in the locker room.