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Seahawks LB K.J. Wright ‘never wanted to leave’ Seattle

Seahawks LB K.J. Wright will return to Seattle in 2019. (AP)

The Seahawks’ biggest move of free agency wasn’t a new addition after all. It was their decision to bring back veteran linebacker K.J. Wright, now the team’s longest-tenured player.

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That doesn’t mean the oldest – the 29-year-old Wright prefers the term “seasoned” – but it’s worth noting, given Seattle’s recent departures, that the deal marks Wright’s third contract with the Seahawks.

“I’ve been around a while and I’ve seen some things, and everything kind of has a look,” Wright told Jake Heaps and Curtis Rogers during an interview with Seattle Sports at Night on 710 ESPN Seattle. Wright entered free agency for the first time in his career this March, and admitted that seeing departures of old teammates like Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett was concerning.

“You can kind of tell who’s going to be there, who’s not, what direction the team’s going to go in, and you kind of get a feel for things. To be honest, I wasn’t too optimistic about me returning because I was injured and they let me get to free agency. So I wasn’t too hopeful. But thankfully, the Seahawks trusted me and wanted me to be a part of their organization, part of their team, and they found something to make me happy and I’m glad that I’m staying.”

Originally a fourth-round pick in 2011, Wright entered the final year of his second contract with Seattle in 2018. His approach to advocating for a new deal — that is to say, not saying much about it at all — was regularly juxtaposed to the summer holdout by safety Earl Thomas.

“I’ve just always been a believer in ‘control what you can control,'” Wright said. “I’ve never been, me personally, a fan of forcing someone to do something they don’t want to do. It’s your team, whatever direction you want to take it, you can take it. One thing that I can do is prepare myself for the season, prepare this team to be successful, make sure I know my playbook and I’m ready to go by the time the season comes. Everyone has their own way, that was my route, and I could do it all over again.”

Wright did get a congratulatory call from Thomas, who ultimately signed a four-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens this week.

The re-signing of Wright allows the Seahawks to keep one of the league’s best linebacker duos intact. And while he hit free agency for all of 24 hours, Wright told 710 ESPN Seattle he wanted to remain in Seattle.

“I never wanted to leave,” Wright said. “This is home… It feels good. It was never a question to me (about) wanting to leave. I just wanted to stay here and be respected. And that was my biggest thing: just give me respectful offers of where I’m happy, because I bring a lot to the team. So to stay in this city is important to me.”

Wright also talked about how excited he is to take his son to a monster truck show. Listen to his full interview in the audio clip embedded above.