One of the few recent feel-good moves by the Seahawks was the somewhat surprising re-signing of K.J. Wright, the longest-tenured Seahawk at eight years and counting.
The wise old vet disseminated some great wisdom and leadership on the first day of camp, offering some inside optimism about Bobby Wagner’s status, plus some level-headed logic about the Earl Thomas snit and some funny introspection.
Although Pete Carroll sounded a cautious “one day at a time” tone over Wagner’s contract situation and the linebacker protested by sitting out the first practice in an inside-out Seahawks sweatshirt, Wright said he thinks a deal is close. Of course, if it were close, wouldn’t Wagner the agent be talking at all times with John Schneider and Matt Thomas to finish it off? And would Wagner be protesting?
Despite those negative signs, Wright seemed quite sure a deal would get done. And he told 710 ESPN, “You will see when the deal gets done, you’ll be like, ‘OK, he knows what he’s doing.’”
If Wagner is paid top dollar, it would mark one of the few big extensions the Seahawks have done the past couple of years. Earl Thomas is still bitter over the team not paying him again, as he told ESPN, “I gave Pete the middle finger (after breaking his leg in Arizona last season) because I felt like he wasn’t being honest with me.”
Former Seahawks running back Mike Davis (now in Chicago) tweeted about ET’s salute to Carroll: “We knew who it was for. We all hated how they treated the situation.”
There have been a lot of unceremonious ends for recent Seahawks stars. Thomas, Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett and Frank Clark were all let go, and Kam Chancellor, Cliff Avril and Doug Baldwin all were cut after injury issues ended their careers (which is why Wagner is not risking injury until he is paid again).
Many fans, especially those who hopped on board during the successful Carroll era, hated seeing most of these players go, but it is just part of sports for players to leave teams. It happens to all of them in some fashion at some point.
Wright offered similar wisdom. Speaking of Thomas and Sherman, he told 710 ESPN: “Don’t get it wrong: Pete loved Earl, Pete loved Sherm. But, like most guys, it comes to an end. That’s the nature of the business. And some guys take it harder than others.”
Wright is one of the few who have made it to third deals in the Carroll era — the first to get one since Chancellor, Bennett and Marshawn Lynch all quickly fizzled out on Deal 3 and made John Schneider gun shy about paying Thomas.
Wright is ready to reward Schneider for his faith with a return to form after an injury-beset 2018 season that saw him play just five games. His goals this year: “I want to get back to the old K.J., because K.J. never missed games (just five in his first seven seasons). … Over 100 tackles, obviously.”
And this funny one: “I gotta score a touchdown this year. I told Bobby if I don’t score a touchdown this year then I’m done – I don’t even want to play anymore.”
Meanwhile, Wright the realist tried to slow the hype mobile on D.K. Metcalf, who apparently has been a superstar in no-contact drills.
“We are going to let him have tomorrow (another no-contact day),” Wright quipped. “But after that it’s over with. … If he comes across the middle, (we’ll) give him a nice little love tap. It’s going to stop here soon.”