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Seahawks sign K.J. Wright to four-year extension
In 2011, the Seahawks took a chance on K.J. Wright, a lanky linebacker from Mississippi State, in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. Thursday, the club took care of a player who has become a vital cog in the league’s No. 1 defense by signing Wright to a four-year contract extension.
“It feels good,” said Wright, who was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. “I’m glad that I finally know my destination. I’m happy they want me here for another four years. It makes you feel good to know you’re appreciated.”
“What a great teammate he is, so everybody is so fired up for him,” defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said. “It shows the respect and regard not only his teammates have for him, but for us in the organization, too.”
Wright joins the All-Pro trio of cornerback Richard Sherman, free safety Earl Thomas and strong safety Kam Chancellor, as well as defensive lineman Michael Bennett, in signing contract extensions or new deals the past two years.
“To get another big part of this defense for a long time, it says volumes,” Quinn said. “And K.J. is such a valuable guy with all the stuff that he does, not just where he plays more than one spot. But it’s his speed, it’s his length, it’s his playmaking. He is quietly one of the most respected guys on this team just by the way he goes about his work.”
And Wright has been doing that since he first arrived. He had 61 tackles as rookie. That total increased to 96 in 2012. He had 80 tackles last season, despite missing three games. This season, he has 96 tackles.
“I’m really excited for him,” linebackers coach Ken Norton, Jr. said. “From the first time K.J. stepped into the building, we knew he was a special person. We didn’t know exactly the type of football player we were getting because early in their careers you never really know those things.
“But it’s good to see that the good guys finish first sometimes. And K.J. has been fantastic for us. He showed his versatility early on. So anytime Bobby gets hurt, K.J. goes to the middle. And same thing if he has to go to the outside if Bruce (Irvin) gets hurt. K.J. is the guy who really has been the key to our depth and whatever position he’s played, he’s been the top player at that position.”
“When I first got here, they didn’t expect too much from me,” Wright said through a smile. “I was a fourth-round guy, playing different positions. But I came in since Day One and showed them who I am and how good a football player I can be.”
And now, Wright is being rewarded for all the things he has done of the Seahawks, and will continue to do.
“K.J. is a product of our environment, our organization,” Norton said. “You have to take your hat off to the people that make those decisions that they’ve taken care of one of our own – a guy they made and created and developed.”
Wright smiled again before offering, “It’s great to know you’re appreciated by the GM (John Schneider), the owner (Paul Allen) and the coaches. I’m blessed to be in this position. It feels good to know I’m going to be here. I love this city and I love this team.” Read