Raiders Starting LB From Last Season, Former Pro Bowler Retires at 33

kj wright

Getty K.J. Wright tackling Khalil Herbert.

Heading into last season, the Las Vegas Raiders hired Gus Bradley as defensive coordinator. He decided to bring in many players that he had coached at previous spots. One of the key signings was linebacker K.J. Wright.

He played under Bradley with Seattle Seahawks and brought experience and leadership to the Raiders. He started eight games for the team despite coming in late in the offseason. Despite being one of the better linebackers in the NFL over the last decade, Wright couldn’t find a team to sign with this offseason.

He has decided to hang up his cleats for good. The Seahawks announced that Wright signed a one-day deal with the team and retire.

It makes sense that Wright would retire as a Seahawk and not a Raider considering spent 10 years in Seattle. Over his career, he had 992 combined tackles. His best season came in 2016 when he had 126 tackles with 4.0 sacks and was named to the Pro Bowl. His crowning achievement came when he won Super Bowl XLVIII with the Seahawks. Wright is still relatively young at 33 so a return is always possible but it appears he’s done with football.

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Wright Is 3rd Raider From Last Season to Retire in July

The Raiders put together a magical season last year that ended in a surprise playoff berth. However, it was a tough season for many. Wright was not the first Raider from last year’s squad to retire in the month of July.

Earlier in the month, veteran offensive lineman Richie Incognito decided to call it a quits. He’s 39 and coming off two injury-plagued years so it wasn’t much of a surprise for him to end his career. Fellow veteran offensive lineman Denzelle Good retired just a couple of days before Wright’s announcement. That was much more surprising as he’s only 31 and had shown up for training camp. For whatever reason, a number of players from last year’s Raiders squad are retiring this month.

Divine Deablo Talks New Coaching Staff

Wright likely would’ve been back with the Raiders this season had Bradley been retained. The team decided to make a change by bringing in defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. Though Bradley was a well-liked coach, Raiders players from last season are really happy with the new staff.

“I love the new defensive coaching staff. It’s a lot of stuff they put in,” linebacker Divine Deablo said after a July 26 training camp practice. “They put us in a great spots and I’m excited for it.”

Deablo figures to be an important part of the defense going forward. He’s excited about his added role.

“I’m really excited,” Deablo said. “First, I got to prove it out there on the field. I got to earn my spot. But I’m excited. I’m still new to the linebacker position. I’m trying to grow every day, improve every day, and that’s my only goal.”

Deablo showed flashes last season but he’s got to prove himself to a brand new coaching staff. If he plays well, the Raiders might have a starting linebacker for a long time.

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