The most significant departure from the Seahawks this offseason was Russell Wilson, but the team also lost a future Hall of Famer at the middle linebacker spot. With that position being a significant talking point, analysis from ESPN’s Brady Henderson sheds light on the team’s 2022 plans.
Especially with Bobby Wagner now in Los Angeles, the door would seem to be open for a reunion between the Seahawks and K.J. Wright. The 32-year-old has made it clear he wishes to return to Seattle; “I just want to go back home” he said last month. “I think it’s that simple. Seattle knows that I want to come back. They know how much they mean to me.”
However, Henderson writes that while the two sides have “discussed a possible return”, general manager John Schneider has indicated that such a reunion “would probably be in a non-playing role”. Wright spent last season with the Raiders after a decade in Seattle during which time he was a key member of the ‘Legion of Boom’.
Assuming he doesn’t return to the field, that would point to Cody Barton assuming the starting role alongside 2020 first-rounder Jordyn Brooks. The 25-year-old has made 48 appearances across three seasons in Seattle, but only registered five starts during his tenure, including two in place of an injured Wagner last year. That is likely to change, given that the team didn’t sign a starting-caliber ‘backer in free agency, and elected not to draft one in April.
A Brooks-Barton pairing would represent a further turning of the page on defense for Seattle, a unit which will be led by new DC Clint Hurtt. If the former can build off of his highly productive season in 2021 (in which he made 184 tackles), and the latter can handle a starter’s workload, though, the absence of both Wagner and Wright could be mitigated.