Seahawks Extend K.J. Wright, Sign of Things to Come?

By Vincent Frank

Over the past couple seasons, the Seattle Seahawks have had the benefit of fielding a Super Bowl contender while still paying some their stars under rookie contracts.

No matter what happens moving forward this season, that’s going to change a great deal once Pete Carroll and Co. step off the field for the last time.

General manager John Schneider got off to an early start in what promises to be a busy offseason for the Executive of the Year candidate and Seattle’s entire front office by signing underrated linebacker K.J. Wright to a four-year, $27 million extension on Thursday. 

The fourth-year pro, a starter since his rookie season in 2011, has been a major staple of the best defense in the National Football League. He has recorded nearly 100 tackles with two sacks and three forced fumbles through 14 games this year.

So the idea if locking Wright up on a deal that averages nearly $8 million per season makes a ton of sense. Doing so with the likes of Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner set to potentially receive extensions during the offseason makes even more sense.

Based on a projected $140 million cap for the 2015 campaign, Seattle will be about $6.5 million under the cap when the new league year starts in March. Needless to say, Schneider and Co. have their work cut out for them.

Wright was set to become a free agent after the season. This means that Seattle likely would have had to get into some sort of a bidding war with a lesser team that would have thrown more money his way in free agency. Short of taking less to return to the Pacific Northwest, Wright likely would have been gone.

With this checked off their off-season to-do list, the Seahawks can now focus on bigger fish.

Russell Wilson, who just replaced his agent, is likely going to demand a contract north of $20 million per season. Bobby Wagner, one of the best pure linebackers in the game, has to be valued among the top-five players at his position. That would bring Wagner’s annual salary to between $8 and $10 million per.

Considering Seattle will enter the offseason under the proverbial eight-ball when it comes to the cap, it needed to take care of some business before focusing on Wilson and Wagner, both of whom are set to become free agents following the 2015 campaign.

Photo: USA Today