NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Golden, 49ers

For the second time in three years, K.J. Wright is a free agent. The longest-tenured Seahawks player has already signed three contracts with the franchise that drafted him. He is eager to ink a fourth.

I’m having fun; I love this city. I love this team, so let’s make it happen,” Wright said of a return to Seattle, via ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson. “… (A return is) up to Pete (Carroll) and John (Schneider). They know how much I mean to this team. They know I’m a great teammate, a great leader and it would be a great investment — in my opinion — if they invest in K.J. and to bring him back into the building. You get what you pay for, and I bring a lot to the table still.”

Wright, 31, does not sound interested in a hometown discount, per veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson (on Twitter). The Seahawks have paired Wright and Bobby Wagner for nine seasons and used both as sub-package linebackers for most of the 2020 slate. But Seattle drafting Jordyn Brooks in last year’s first round could complicate a Wright return. Pro Football Focus rated Wright as its No. 8 overall ‘backer this past season.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • The Seahawks were not planning to part ways with OC Brian Schottenheimer, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes an end-of-season meeting — in which Carroll reinforced his preference to focus on the run game — helped lead to the team changing play-callers. The Seahawks deviated in the season’s first half from Carroll’s run-centric vision but reverted more toward their usual setup down the stretch. It will be interesting to see how Seattle’s offense looks under new OC Shane Waldron, who spent five years in Washington and Los Angeles working under Sean McVay.
  • Markus Golden‘s sack total dropped from 10 in 2019 to 4.5 in 2020, and the Cardinals saw Haason Reddick complete a contract-year breakout. Still, the older Arizona edge rusher would like to return. “It gave me another shock of energy just being back home,” Golden said of the trade that sent him from the Giants to the Cards, via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. “Being here where I know my heart is, it really matters to me to be in Arizona on the Cardinals.” Golden, who signed with the Giants in 2019 and stayed in New York via the rare UFA tender last year, is set for free agency for a third straight year.
  • Big expenses at the top of the Rams‘ payroll have forced the team to let several role players walk in recent offseasons. This year may be no exception. The Rams are unlikely to re-sign Josh Reynolds, Malcolm Brown or Gerald Everett, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic notes (subscription required). The Rams having drafted contributors at these positions in 2020, and having two wideouts (Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods) and a tight end (Tyler Higbee) signed long-term already, pointed this trio to free agency.
  • Jeff Wilson‘s one-year 49ers extension can max out at $3.6MM, according to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco. Wilson will receive $2.05MM fully guaranteed, with another possible $1.55MM available via incentives. The incentives would give Wilson a chance to out-earn the low-end RFA tender price, which OverTheCap projects at $2.24MM for running backs. He is still due to be a 2022 UFA.
  • Nick Mullens underwent elbow surgery last month, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. This, however, was not a Tommy John operation, with Garafolo adding the 49ers backup’s injury was not as severe as initially feared. He is expected to be ready by training camp.
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14 comments on “NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Golden, 49ers

  1. arty!

    I don’t understand why Carroll demands to be a run heavy team w/ a HoF QB in his prime. But he has 2 trips & 1 win to the SB. Should’s been 2 SB W’s but then he decided to give up on the run!

    • larkraxm

      I’m not convinced it has to be runs, but the offense has to control the ball. 3 and out 1 minute drives are going to expose the defense and make the HC mad! Short passes, swing passes, quick slants, are essentially “runs”. Control the ball and get first downs and Pete won’t care how you did it. Running is a good way. The Seahawks have become the West Coast Patriots running the football under Carroll.

        • ctyank7

          When does Wilson, after his HC again discuss emphasizing the run more in ‘21, begin to push for a trade? I’ll bet the Colts, WFT or Dolphins would sent ole Pete a pair of first rounders for a still-in-his prime Russell Wilson.

        • tjbarnaba

          “Living in the past” running the football is the most important facet of football no matter what era it is. You can’t win if you can’t run because you can’t control the TOP. If you can’t control the TOP, your defense is on the field too much. It’s just simple strategy. All you children demanding for passes are proving how far you have to go before anyone cares about your opinion.

      • paddyo875

        @larkraxm….Pardon my sophomoric joke-but your pluralizing of a word has me “firmly” convinced that the runs are no fun.

    • afsooner02

      Especially when they haven’t had a RB worth a darn since Lynch in 2014….

    • thegoldencheeja

      Three yard runs are better then incomplete passes. It keeps Wilson upright and not having to stand in the pocket and/or scramble on 3rd and 10. Russ wants to win, above all else, and if being a run heavy offense gets that W, Russ is happy.

  2. Simmons>Russ

    Rams should look to pick some scraps from FA instead of the draft. Can still get a decent 4th string WR and 3rd string TE for next to nothing and use the picks for other things.

    I’d take reinforcements in the o line early then try move up from the later rounds and take a couple depth defenders

    • leftcoast11 - pyramidsuccess

      Excellent…Do we get compensation picks?Neither guy will have trouble getting jobs.A lot of teams could use a Te with his talent.

  3. Ak185

    The Seahawks already tried to get rid of Wright to “get younger” recently. They were forced to re-sign him. Since then, Wright has been remained a very, very good cover linebacker. The Seahawks for some reason want to move on from him, but the Wright-Wagner pairing has brought nothing but success, while the Brooks and Griffin acquisitions have yet to bear much fruit.

    • Brooks looked pretty good this year. And considering it was his rookie year his future is bright. The Seahawks already paid Wagner so it’s not realistic to sign another big money LB. You can’t have that much of your cap used on Linebackers if you want to win.

      • Ak185

        I’ll give you Brooks. I hadn’t really seen how much he improved in the last few games, and I was thinking of his early poor play. My mistake. Hopefully that progression continues, but he still however hasn’t quite justified that 1st round selection completely. He might next year, though, if this keeps up.

        In any case, I doubt that Wright would command a huge salary at this point in his career. He still is excellent as an off-ball linebacker. My main point really is that Seattle has tried to seemingly push him out the door, only to come back and re-sign him later. Again, he’s not getting huge deals, and the defense could use him in what will be a contending season. They have quite a few contributors on rookie deals, and figure to add a couple more (corner, tight end for example) in the draft. I think they could afford a Wright deal this year.

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