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December 18, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Seahawks sign linebacker K.J. Wright to four-year contract extension

Seattle Times photo/John Lok

Seattle Times photo/John Lok

The Seattle Seahawks announced today they have signed linebacker K.J. Wright to a four-year contract extension. Wright (above in Sunday’s win over the 49ers) could have been a free agent at the end of the season and was regarded as a player the team considered a priority to re-sign. Sources had said the team might have a chance to speed up the signing of Wright after the trade of Percy Harvin, which cleared out some salary.

NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that it is for $27 million.

“In the offseason, we identified K.J. as one of our core players moving forward and aimed to keep him as a part of the Seahawks family for a long time,” said Executive Vice President & General Manager John Schneider in a statement released by the team. “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.”

Said coach Pete Carroll in a statement: “K.J. is the epitome of a team guy. 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.”

This season, Wright has started all 14 games and tallied a career-high tying 96 tackles (66 solo) and career-high tying 2.0 sacks.

The team’s release notes that: Wright was the team’s fourth-round draft choice (99th overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft. He has started 54 of 58 games played 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 played, with 24 tackles (13 solo) and two passes defensed.
The linebacking corps was an area the Seahawks needed to begin taking care of this season. Malcolm Smith is also a free agent while the team could extend middle linebacker Bobby Wagner after this season (he has one year left on his rookie contract). The team could also put a tag for a one-year extension on Bruce Irvin, whose rookie contract goes through 2015.
Wright said before the season that he hoped to stay with the Seahawks.

“I’m hoping something gets done,’’ he said then. “But if it doesn’t, then I’ll be fine. This place I really like and enjoy, but you know, good guys leave. Golden (Tate), Walter (Thurmond), those guys had to walk. If they want me here, they will find a way to keep me.”

Today they did.

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