The Detroit Lions need to sign K.J. Wright.
In my opinion, this is one of the more intriguing players in this article. K.J. Wright is a cap casualty of the Seattle Seahawks, where he’s enjoyed a tremendous career flanking the future Hall Of Fame middle linebacker Bobby Wagner.
Wright remains an awesome talent even at 31-years old. The 6-foot-4 and nearly 250-pound linebacker would be a phenomenal asset to a defense that hasn’t been able to get out of its own way in recent years.
The Lions need a leader to pair with Jamie Collins, and who better than Wright? The veteran linebacker has been quite durable throughout his career, playing in all 16 regular season contests six of his ten NFL seasons and only playing fewer than 13 games once.
Wright is a tackling machine amassing 941 career tackles, 13.5 sacks, and six interceptions. The savvy veteran has also forced 11 fumbles and recovered nine. If it weren’t for an injury that limited Wright to just five games back in 2018, he’d have an average of 100 combined tackles spanning over ten seasons. That is impressive, considering the elite Wagner cleans up so many of the opportunities himself.
The Seahawks are prepared to replace Wright with second-year linebacker Jordyn Brooks who they drafted in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Wright is likely holding out in free agency, hoping to latch on with a contender. Still, the Detroit Lions should consider bringing in the talented free agent on a one-year deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $4.5 million.
It may seem like overpaying in a COVID-stricken season, but at that price, it will limit his suitors, and maybe Wright will consider playing a season for Campbell and hope to cash in one last time once the salary cap skyrockets once again.
Wright is coming off of a 2020 campaign where he totaled 990 defensive snaps, earning an overall grade of 75.3 and a coverage mark of 78.7 per PFF. We know how awful the Lions linebackers have been in pass coverage, and this signing won’t rule out drafting a linebacker. As it stands, it’s a thin group behind Collins with Jahlani Tavai, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, and Alex Anzalone rostered.
Also, a rookie backer would greatly benefit from being in the same room as Collins and Wright for a season.