The New York Jets are gearing up for training camp next week with some final touches to the roster.
Typically this is a golden opportunity for the last remaining quality veteran free agents to grab a spot before the train leaves the station.
Over the last month and a half, it’s been the doldrum of the NFL offseason with not a whole heck of a lot going on. Jets’ head coach Robert Saleh said during this quiet time that he and general manager Joe Douglas would reassess the landscape following minicamp, to determine whether or not they’d add another piece or two to the 90 man roster.
One player they should strongly consider adding was just recently linked to Gang Green in the media.
ALL the latest Jets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Jets newsletter here!
Reunited and It Feels so Good
Veteran linebacker KJ Wright has spent the last 10 years of his career with the Seattle Seahawks, yet in late July remains unsigned.
There are several teams that are vying for his services, although most of them have waited until training camp to make a decision on whether or not to bring him in.
The thought process is simple. Coaches would prefer to fill their roster and specifically their starting positions with youngsters. Why?
It’s cheap labor and a player can get reps and develop into a more prominent role down the line. While a veteran is commonly more expensive.
In the Jets’ case, they have young players at two positions of need (linebacker and cornerback). Both areas lack depth and star power.
Wright could add both to the linebacker room for the green and white.
In a recent NFL.com article, Kevin Patra explored the potential landing spots for the veteran and one of the teams that came up was the Jets.
Since Wright has only played for one team his entire NFL career, the columnist suggested reuniting with a former Seattle coach in a new location would make a ton of sense.
Saleh, the Jets’ head coach, was with the Seahawks from 2011 through 2013 as a defensive quality control coach. That perfectly aligned with Wright’s tenure as a player who coincidentally started his career at the same time as a former fourth-round draft choice (No. 99 overall) in the 2011 NFL draft by Seattle.
In Saleh’s final year with the Seahawks, he punctuated his tenure with football immortality. Seattle won Super Bowl 48 with a 43-8 beatdown of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Where Would He Fit With the Green and White?
I was once told in college as I attempted to get into sports media that the more things I could do, the more likely it was that I’d land a job. That ended up proving true and that same sentiment translates to an NFL football player. The more things you can do, the more attractive you are to a potential team.
“For me, I believe that it’s what a team wants from me,” Wright said via NFL.com. “I know that what I provide to a team, I know that coming off my two best seasons after I suffered a knee injury — had my two best years, played phenomenally, switched position, destroyed that position. And so for a guy that’s played SAM, MIKE, and WILL (linebacker positions), played under a bunch of defensive coordinators, I know that I can go into a training camp, pick up the playbook, nice and easy, nice and fast, go out to perform in any position that want me at.”
To add a piece this late in the process that has the versatility to play every linebacker spot (SAM, MIKE, and WILL) is invaluable. The NFL is a brutal game and injuries are to be expected.
With no proven depth on the bench, it would behoove Gang Green to add some much-needed insurance. Wright has versatility, leadership having been around the block a time or two, and knowledge of the scheme.
With only a month and a half before the 2021 season arrives, if the Jets are going to sign a veteran like Wright, time is of the essence. The sooner they can get a player in the building, the better prepared they’ll be both mentally and physically for the challenges ahead.
The 31-year old (soon to be 32-year old) would be a perfect scheme fit for what the Jets are looking for. If Wright is weighing his options on where he wants to play next season, his close connection with Saleh could push him over the edge to join the green and white.