August 11, 2022

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Veteran linebacker Okay.J. Wright signed a ceremonial one-day contract Wednesday to retire as a member...

Veteran linebacker Okay.J. Wright signed a ceremonial one-day contract Wednesday to retire as a member of the Seattle Seahawks, the crew introduced.

Wright’s retirement ends an 11-year enjoying profession that included 10 seasons as a starter on the famed defenses that helped lead the Seahawks via essentially the most profitable stretch in franchise historical past, which included a victory in Tremendous Bowl XLVIII and a close to repeat the following 12 months.

Wright spent 2021 with the Las Vegas Raiders and was fascinated by enjoying a twelfth NFL season provided that it was with the Seahawks, however they’ve been intent on going with youthful gamers in the course of their revamped protection.

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So Wright, who turned 33 on Saturday, will formally finish his profession in the identical place it started in 2011. He rose from a fourth-round decide with a lanky construct to one of many key — even when much less heralded — members of Seattle’s Legion of Increase protection. Wright’s résumé consists of one Professional Bowl (after the 2016 season) and the No. 3 spot on the franchise’s profession tackles checklist.

The story on the Seahawks’ web site saying Wright’s retirement confirmed him overcome with emotion whereas signing his one-day contract.

Coach Pete Carroll mentioned Wright had a number of members of the family with him as he signed the contract, calling it a “actual emotional” ceremony.

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“It actually was,” Carroll mentioned. “It was emotional for all of us. It was an enormous deal for Okay.J. to lastly put his identify on the dotted line for the final time. There was a second there the place we have been 11 seasons and 230 video games and all of the years that he performed. He was simply making an attempt to suck it up and take up it and … he simply received emotional about it such as you’d assume he ought to and would.”

Spotrac.com lists Wright with greater than $49 million in gross on-field earnings.

“He’s a incredible child and been a exceptional chief and performer and all that,” Carroll mentioned. “However even above all that, he’s a exceptional particular person. I hope that we will all the time hold him near this system. Actually glad that he’s within the space dwelling right here. We have now a bunch of [ex-Seahawks] that do reside right here. I’m glad that he’s type of nonetheless within the fraternity of all of it. I hope we’ll have the ability to do extra work with Okay.J. sooner or later.”

Wright’s retirement announcement comes a day after information broke that working again Chris Carson plans to retire as nicely. Carroll referred to as it “a disgrace” that Carson has to name it a profession due to the neck damage that sidelined him after the fourth sport of final season. He mentioned Carson and the crew have been holding out hope all offseason that his surgically repaired neck would take a flip for the higher, however he hadn’t made progress when he was reexamined a couple of month in the past.

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“So he’s had a while to course of this, that it’s coming,” Carroll mentioned. “He labored like loopy to do it, he was going for it the entire method. However as he mentioned yesterday, ‘I’ve had time to cope with it and I’m OK about it.’ So he’s transferring forward.”

The Seahawks launched Carson on Tuesday with a failed bodily designation, which entitles him to a portion of what he was set to make in 2022.

Carroll added: “I beloved the way in which Chris Carson performed. I beloved his type, his aggressiveness, his creativity, his all-around athleticism. I beloved him on our crew. It breaks my coronary heart to not have him once more, notably with how we’re going about it. We’d like to have him. I’m glad I had a while to work with him.”

Wright received a beginning job at center linebacker as a rookie, then spent a lot of the remainder of his Seattle tenure on the weak aspect, transferring there after the Seahawks drafted Bobby Wagner in 2012. These two fashioned arguably the NFL’s greatest inside linebacker duo of the previous decade. Wright made one other transfer to the robust aspect early within the 2020 season and performed among the greatest soccer of his profession at age 31, however he wasn’t re-signed the following offseason because the Seahawks determined to go youthful at inside linebacker.

Wright recorded 51 tackles in 17 video games (eight begins) final season whereas enjoying on a one-year cope with the Raiders. He mentioned on the “Half-Forgotten Historical past” podcast earlier this offseason that he needed to “return dwelling” and play for the Seahawks. He wasn’t fascinated by enjoying wherever else, not wanting to maneuver his spouse and three youngsters from their Seattle-area dwelling or be away from them once more like he was final season in Las Vegas.

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However with their youth motion persevering with this offseason — Seattle releasing Wagner and inserting Cody Barton into the beginning lineup alongside Jordyn Brooks — an on-field reunion was to not be.

Wright finishes his profession with 992 tackles, 13.5 sacks and 6 interceptions in 161 regular-season video games. His 934 tackles with the Seahawks (by the crew’s depend) ranks third in franchise historical past behind Eugene Robinson at No. 2 and Wagner at No. 1.

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