In a marriage that has long made sense, the Las Vegas Raiders have added a necessary piece in the form of veteran linebacker K.J. Wright.
NFL reporter Josina Anderson reported on Thursday afternoon that Wright told her he is joining Las Vegas on a one-year deal.
Free agent LB K.J. Wright just told me he is signing with #Raiders on a 1-year deal.— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) September 2, 2021
The signing makes a lot of sense considering the Raiders’ injuries at the position. If he can get ready, there is a chance Wright can be part of the game plan for the Raiders’ season opener against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1.
Wright visited the Raiders a few weeks ago, but it was reported that he wanted more money. The Raiders restructured more than $2 million of fellow linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski’s contract Thursday, so that may have freed some more for Wright. Yet, the Raiders (who re-worked tight end Derek Carrier’s deal as part of bringing him back to the roster Thursday) have more work to do.
After Wright’s visit, the Raiders’ need at the position became more urgent with injuries to starter Nicholas Morrow and Javin White. Both may start the season on the injured reserve. Young linebackers Tanner Muse and Deablo Divine probably aren’t ready to help. Wright should step in and have a big role with Kwiatkoski and Cory Littleton. Denzel Perryman, who the Raiders just traded for, is working his way into the system as well.
Of course, it shouldn’t take Wright long to get ready because he was in the system of Las Vegas defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in his first two NFL seasons in Seattle, 2011-12. He joins former Charger’s defenders. Perryman, cornerback Casey Hayward, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, defensive tackle Darius Philon and safety Roderic Teamer as players in Las Vegas who worked under Bradley in the past.
Wright, 32, had 86 tackles last season. A Seattle source told Silver and Black Pride that they think Wright can help the Raiders and he is still a strong leader.
Coupled with the recent addition of defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, the Raiders’ defense has gotten needed doses of leadership. There’s not a lot to dislike about this addition.