Seahawks Legend Signs 1-Day Contract, Retires With Team

Getty Former Seattle Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright will get to retire with the team after signing a one-day contract.

The Seattle Seahawks have lost several key members from their Super Bowl team this offseason, and while a lot of change has been happening, at least one former star player got a warm welcome back to celebrate his retirement.

Seattle announced via its team website on Wednesday, July 27 that former linebacker K.J. Wright had signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks so that he could retire with the team that drafted him. The team also tweeted a video showing an emotional moment of Wright in tears signing the deal while embracing head coach Pete Carroll while general manager John Schneider emotionally stood next to them.

The announcement came after discussions this offseason of Wright returning to the team in some capacity. The veteran linebacker had made it clear that he would either play for his former team or retire from the NFL. With the young talent that the Seahawks had at the position, and Wright’s age at 33 years old, the decision was ultimately made for him to hang up his cleats.

Revisiting K.J. Wright’s NFL Career

Wright wasn’t expected to become a star in the NFL after a modest college career, but the 33-year-old found a way to establish himself as one of the more memorable defensive players for the Seahawks for a decade.

Coming out of Olive Branch High School in Mississippi, Wright committed to play for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. It didn’t take long for him to become a starting linebacker in college, playing a key role on the school’s defense from his sophomore through senior years. He finished his college career with 258 combined tackles and 14 sacks.

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After a strong pre-draft process that included a Senior Bowl invitation, Wright was selected by the Seahawks in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft in the same draft class as Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell.

Despite being a later draft pick, Wright was quickly able to impress coaches and earned a starting inside linebacker job as a rookie. Outside of missing games due to injury, Wright held onto that starting job for 10 seasons with the Seahawks, winning a Super Bowl and being named a Pro Bowler in 2016.

Wright spent one season with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021 after leaving Seattle in free agency, reuniting with his old defensive coordinator in Gus Bradley. However, after just one season, Wright decided to return to Seattle to retire with the team. The 33-year-old finished his career with 992 combined tackles, 13.5 sacks, 11 forced fumbles and six interceptions.

Could Jordyn Brooks Be the Next Great Seahawks LB?

With Wright retired and Bobby Wagner now with the Los Angeles Rams, linebacker Jordyn Brooks is hoping to be the next great Seahawks player at the position. While his NFL career didn’t get off to the best start, his 2021 campaign showed that he has star potential.

Brooks was Seattle’s first-round pick back in 2020, with the team looking to get younger at the position. He started just six games as a rookie behind Wright and Wagner, but found his footing in his second season.

The 24-year-old linebacker burst onto the scene in 2021, starting in all 17 games for Seattle. He finished the year with 184 combined tackles, 109 solo tackles, 10 tackles for loss, five pass deflections, and one sack.

Expectations are high for Brooks coming into 2022. He has officially been named the team’s defensive signal caller for the upcoming season, taking the responsibility over after the team released Wagner this offseason.

Brooks will have plenty of help on defense with players like Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, Shelby Harris, and Poona Ford helping him out. However, Seahawks fans will be hoping for Brooks to carry the torch of the legendary linebackers who played before him and for him to take the next step into NFL stardom.

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Russell Malahowski
Russell Malahowski
13 days ago

That is a pretty cool idea. Once a Seahawk, ALWAYS a Seahawk!!!

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