Seahawks lock up another part of their core with K.J. Wright extension

Dec 18, 2014, 1:23 PM | Updated: 3:02 pm
K.J. Wright became the first Seahawks linebacker on the roster to sign to an extension on Thursday....
K.J. Wright became the first Seahawks linebacker on the roster to sign to an extension on Thursday. (AP)
(AP)

RENTON – The Seahawks have shown they can build a championship team.

Now, we’re seeing how they plan to sustain one. Namely by retaining as many of the pieces as possible, K.J. Wright being the most recent player to be re-signed as part of the core.

“They pretty much tell you how they’re going to handle and take care of guys,” Wright said. “And it was my turn.”

His turn to sign a four-year extension worth a maximum of $27 million, a figure first reported by the NFL Network.

Wright joins a list of players that included safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman. While Seattle has been one of the youngest teams in the league since John Schneider took over as general manager in 2010, the re-signings show the significant value that experience holds in Seattle’s eyes.

It’s a little bit of a surprise. After all, the draft is the one renewable resource that NFL teams can count upon, and Seattle could have opted to stay young (and cheap) by believing it could draft suitable replacements for players like Chancellor and now Wright.

Instead Seattle has zeroed in on players who fit within the Seahawks’ system, who have been good teammates and trusted contributors, and looked to retain those players even with quarterback Russell Wilson eligible for an extension as soon as this offseason.

Wright was a fourth-round pick in 2011, chosen out of Mississippi State. He started the first game of his NFL career at middle linebacker when David Hawthorne was injured, moved over and replaced Aaron Curry as the strongside linebacker a few games later and for the past two years has played on the weakside.

He is one of the most versatile linebackers in the league, and one of the highest regarded. He was eligible for free agency this offseason, and as recently as Tuesday night, wondered if he might be playing elsewhere next season.

Now, he will remain a Seahawk.

The decision to trade Percy Harvin certainly offered Seattle some financial flexibility it didn’t have had he remained on the roster, but this is more than just finding the next guy in line to get the money. This is about Seattle’s method for sustaining the team going forward, which is to retain critical parts. Thursday’s announcement showed that Wright is one of those.

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Seahawks lock up another part of their core with K.J. Wright extension