The Seahawks Thursday awarded a four-year contract extension to linebacker K.J. Wright, who would have become a free agent at the end of the season. Seahawks general manager John Schneider said before this season began that he and head coach Pete Carroll targeted Wright as a core player.
“We aimed to keep him as a part of the Seahawks family for a long time,” said Schneider. “The timing of this signing gives us the ability to keep as many of our core players together as we possibly can. Since day one, K.J. has been a true professional in his daily approach and we are excited for K.J., his family and the 12s to keep him in the organization.”
According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the deal is worth $27 million. At practice Thursday at the VMAC, Wright said he was elated.
“I had a number in mind, and they exceeded that,” he said. “I always wanted to stay. This feels like home.”
Wright has started all 14 games and recorded a career-high tying 96 tackles (66 solo) and career-high tying two sacks.
A fourth-round draft choice (99th overall) in 2011 out of Mississippi State, Wright has started 54 of 58 games and recorded 333 tackles (224 solo), 6.5 sacks, one interception, 14 passes defensed, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in his career. In the postseason, he has started three of four games with 24 tackles (13 solo) and two passes defensed.
“K.J. is the epitome of a team guy,” Carroll said in a statement. “We are excited to reward a player of his caliber for all the hard work he has put in over the years to become an important piece of our defense.”
In the last nine months, the Seahawks have locked up Wright, pass rusher Michael Bennett, All Pro safety Earl Thomas and All Pro cornerback Richard Sherman.