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Free Agent Spotlight: LB, K.J. Wright

For the primary time in our free-agent take a look at who might be in the marketplace for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on this upcoming league 12 months, I get a participant with out Arizona Cardinals ties. Nonetheless, with Okay.J. Wright, we nonetheless keep within the NFC West. As a lot as issues change, they keep the identical.

May Wright slot in Tampa? Let’s take a look at it.

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Mississippi State Bulldogs

Photograph by Collegiate Pictures by way of Getty Pictures

Earlier than successful a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks, Wright was taking part in linebacker for the Mississippi State Bulldogs incomes a spot within the NFL as a fourth-round draft decide within the 2011 choice assembly.

Since then, Wright has greater than outplayed his inventory racking up 13.5 sacks and practically 600 tackles regardless of not being a focus of the Seattle move rush.

As a mainstay within the Seahawks protection throughout the improvement of the ‘Legion of Increase’ and since its dismantling, Wright is their model of Tampa Bay’s Lavonte David.

When you consider Wright, you’d be shocked to study he has only one Pro Bowl choice and has by no means landed on the First-Crew All-Professional roster. In fact, taking part in with Bobby Wagner has helped Wright’s profession performances, for positive. Nonetheless, as a lot as he’s Robin to Wagner’s Batman, you’d suppose he’d have extra recognition.

Distinction right here is, David hasn’t had a Wagner caliber operating mate till the Buccaneers pulled the set off on ‘over-drafting’ Devin White two years in the past.

Exterior of the stat field, Wright is a veteran who might come obtainable if he can strike a take care of the Seahawks who has fourteen profession playoff video games and a Tremendous Bowl title on his resume.

If you happen to’re a group in search of an off-ball linebacker with vary, stable tackling capability, and is a confirmed chief, then Wright is your man.

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For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the match with Wright solely works if one big drawback arises. In fact, we’re speaking concerning the departure of their very own veteran, Lavonte David.

Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles

Photograph by Mitchell Leff/Getty Pictures

For essentially the most half, Wright has been a star taking part in as Seattle’s weakside linebacker of their 4-3 base. In 2020, he moved over to strongside after accidents compelled a shuffling within the Seahawks protection.

Transferring inside in Todd Bowles’ 3-4 base is a step down from David in my eyes, however a step up from Kevin Minter and permits Jason Licht to look elsewhere close to the highest of this 12 months’s draft.

If there’s any doubt about this outdated canine studying new tips as a 3-4 inside linebacker, he can’t be understated as a frontrunner. This attribute has been evident on and off the sphere, and has made him a fan favourite within the Pacific Northwest. Actually, Wright was only in the near past introduced as this 12 months’s ‘Male Seattle Sports Star of the Year’, an honor chosen by followers.

This isn’t obligatory, as a result of Lavonte David isn’t going wherever, proper? The place’s he going? Nowhere.

Okay, we might not wish to settle for a attainable future for the Buccaneers the place David isn’t part of the group, however it’s a chance till it isn’t.

For Wright, the one actual concern right here is whether or not or not he brings all of the attributes Bowles needs taking part in subsequent to Devin White, and whether or not or not he’s reasonably priced in the identical mild. Wouldn’t make a lot sense not paying David simply to pay Wright like-money, now wouldn’t it?

Right here we go. Wright’s market worth in accordance with Spotrac.com is $7.1M per 12 months on a brand new two-year deal.

In the meantime, David is predicted to earn $12.7M – or $5.5M extra per 12 months.

So I assume, LVD isn’t as under-appreciated as we thought.

We all know David and the Bucs have been in talks since final 12 months. Now, we don’t understand how typically the 2 sides talked, or what the tone of these discussions actually was. Backside line, we don’t understand how a lot David values protecting the occasion going over getting paid as a lot as he can.

Wright needs to remain in Seattle as properly. One thing he’s already made recognized. Nonetheless, he’s additionally made it recognized he doesn’t wish to hear noise a couple of ‘hometown low cost’ after being quoted by a number of retailers saying,

“I do approach an excessive amount of on the soccer subject to take a reduction…”

If he isn’t taking a reduction to remain in Seattle, he isn’t taking one to maneuver to Florida. So does he worth himself on the full $7.1M per 12 months? Or perhaps extra? These are the unknowns for now, with the primary one being the largest.

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers

Photograph by Chris Coduto/Getty Pictures

It’s laborious for me to think about any fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would choose the ‘Signal him, it doesn’t matter what’ choice right here.

Preferring David’s return over Wright’s arrival appears to be a simple name, however perhaps I’m incorrect. It’s your name Bucs Nation!

In case you missed them, try my earlier write-ups on Adrian Peterson and Haason Reddick, and Patrick Peterson as properly.

Ballot

In the case of Okay.J. Wright, what would you’ve the Buccaneers do?

  • 0%

    Signal him, it doesn’t matter what

    (0 votes)

  • 0%

    Make a proposal, however preserve it affordable

    (0 votes)

  • 0%

    Invite him for a cup of espresso and see the place it goes

    (0 votes)

  • 0%

    Name him up if they’ve a necessity after the NFL Draft

    (0 votes)

  • 0%

    Don’t want him

    (0 votes)

  • 0%

    Cease taking part in, simply re-sign Lavonte David

    (0 votes)



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