Seahawks veteran linebacker K.J. Wright signed a ceremonial one-day contract to retire on Wednesday, the organization announced. He played for the Seahawks for 11 years, starting 10 of those years on defense and contributing to their most successful period in franchise history, which culminated in their Super Bowl XLVIII victory and a close second-place finish the following year.
When asked if he would consider returning to the NFL for the 12th season, Wright said he would only do so if the Seahawks were interested in signing him. However, the Seahawks have insisted on using younger players in the heart of their retooled defense.
To mark his 33rd birthday on Saturday, Wright will play his final game in the same stadium where he debuted it seven years prior, in 2011. A fourth-round pick with a lean frame, the defensive lineman has become an integral part of Seattle’s Legion of Boom, despite being less well-known. Wright has one Pro Bowl appearance and is third on the team’s all-time tackles list.
When the Seahawks announced Wright’s retirement, a video of him signing his one-day contract was posted on their website. Coach Pete Carroll described the signing of Wright’s contract as “very emotional” because of the presence of several members of Wright’s family.
In Carroll’s words, “It really was,” he added. “We were all moved to tears. K.J.’s last signature on the dotted line was a momentous occasion. There was a period when we were looking over his 11-year career, which included 230 games and all of his years on the field.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 27, 2022
When he was just trying to hold back the tears and keep his emotions in check, he ended up being really emotional about it.” When it comes to gross on-field earnings, Spotrac.com estimates that Wright has made in excess of $49 million.
He’s a great kid who has shown incredible leadership and ability on and off the field, according to Carroll. “He’s also an extraordinary human being. I sincerely hope that we can keep him in the loop at all times. I’m really happy that he’s settled here now. There are a lot of former [Seahawks] residents here. I’m pleased that he’s still a part of the brotherhood. Ideally, we’d like to continue working with K.J in the near future.”
This announcement comes just one day after the news surfaced that running back Chris Carson will retire. Carroll said it was a tragedy that Carson had to end his career because of the neck injury he sustained in the fourth game of the 2013-14 season.. A month after his last checkup, he stated Carson and the team had hoped that his surgically repaired neck would improve, but that had not happened.
Thus, Carroll explained that the man had had some time to take it all in and understand what was about to happen. “In order to do this, he worked tirelessly and relentlessly. However, as he stated only the other day, “I’ve had time to cope with it and I’m OK about it.
” It appears that he’s making progress.” Due to a failed medical, the Seahawks were required to pay a portion of Carson’s salary for 2022 when they terminated him on Tuesday.
Carroll went on to say: “Chris Carson‘s performance wowed me. I adored his look, aggression, originality, and athleticism in general. When he was on our squad, he was one of my favorites. The thought of not being able to see him again crushes my heart, especially with the way we’re handling it. He’d be a great addition to our team. Having some time with him was a pleasure.”
In his first season with the Seahawks, Wright started as a middle linebacker but spent the majority of the remainder of his time on the weak side after the Seahawks selected Bobby Wagner in the 2012 draft. One of the greatest inside linebacker duos in NFL history was developed by the two.
As a 31-year-old, Wright had some of the best football of his career but wasn’t re-signed by the Seahawks in the following offseason because they wanted to sign younger inside linebackers.
Wright had 51 tackles and eight starts in 17 games for the Raiders last season on a one-year deal. He stated earlier this summer on the “Half-Forgotten History” podcast that he wanted to “get back home” and play for the Seahawks. He didn’t want to leave his wife and three children in Seattle to play somewhere because he didn’t want to be away from them for long periods of time as he was in Las Vegas last year.
However, Seattle’s youth movement continued this offseason, with Wagner being released and Cody Barton replacing Jordyn Brooks in the starting lineup.
On the field, Wright has 992 tackles, 13.5 sacks, and six interceptions in 161 regular-season games, bringing his career total to 992. To the best of his knowledge, he has 934 tackles with the Seahawks, which places him third all-time behind only Eugene Robinson and Bobby Wagner.
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