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One and Done - FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

No KJ Wright on Seahawks roster for first time in a decade

Wed Jun 16 7:35pm ET
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, center, watches his NFL football practice Wednesday, June 16, 2021, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


RENTON, Wash. (AP) For a decade, No. 50 was seemingly always on the field for the Seahawks.

Right now, the number is going unused in Seattle, and it may remain that way if the Seahawks have decided K.J. Wright's run as a lynchpin starter for the defense has truly come to an end.

''Of course, it's awkward. I'm entering year 10 and I'm used to seeing a particular face,'' linebacker Bobby Wagner said. ''I'm hoping that everything still works out and we're able to get him back. I think he's a tremendous player, a tremendous person, someone that anyone would love to have on their team and so we'll see what happens.''

Wright is currently a free agent and without an employer for the 2021 season, raising the possibility the longest-tenured Seahawks player during Pete Carroll's regime may have played his final game with the team that drafted him 10 years ago.

The 31-year-old can still play, and that was evident last season. Wright switched positions from weakside to strongside linebacker early in the season following an injury to Bruce Irvin, yet went on to have one of the more productive seasons of his career.

But the team appears ready to move on. The Seahawks were thrilled with the rookie campaign by Jordyn Brooks playing off the line of scrimmage at weakside linebacker after Wright made his position switch.

Seattle is also intrigued by the potential of Darrell Taylor as a strongside linebacker on early downs and a rusher in passing situations, filling the role that once led to a big payday for Irvin. Taylor, a second-round pick in 2020, didn't play last season due to setback in his recovery from lower leg surgery, but he appears fully healthy heading into this season.

Those factors leave Wright without a role in Seattle, at least for now.

''The door is still open for players,'' Carroll said. ''We're still working at figuring out the roster and how it's going to go. Until we get on the field and can see how things are starting to come together, there won't be no major changes in what's going on because we're pretty committed at this point. That doesn't mean that we're not tuned in to all of the options and the opportunities that are out there, because we are.''

Seeing Wright playing elsewhere seems unfathomable, although there were indications early in free agency that there was interest on the market. Seattle general manager John Schneider said during the draft he was surprised Wright hadn't signed somewhere.

Wright was a fourth-round pick in 2011 by Seattle and instantly inherited a starting role. Last season, Wright was one of just five players on Seattle's roster who remained from the Seahawks' last Super Bowl appearance.

Wright started 140 of the 144 regular-season games he played - the only four games he didn't start came during his rookie season. Last season following Brooks' arrival and the position change, Wright went on to have 86 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, two sacks and 10 passes defensed.

There was still something there, although it was clear Seattle was eyeing Brooks as his eventual replacement.

''K.J. had an outstanding career here, he set the bar high for sure,'' Brooks said last month. ''So it's definitely no slack here. I'm just ready to get in and prove that I can do this.''

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Player Notes
Drew Lock Jun 17 2:00pm ET

Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said that both quarterbacks Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater, who are expected to share repetitions evenly in training camp next month, have both improved at minicamp this week. The two signal-callers had 29 snaps apiece in practice on Wednesday. "I've seen improvement in Drew's decision-making, timing and accuracy and for Teddy, it's more about getting up to speed on what we've done and he's right on-board with the things we're doing," Shurmur said. While it's anyone's guess as to who will be the starter in Week 1 against the New York Giants, Lock probably has the slight edge since he was the guy in 2020. But now that he'll have a much shorter leash, he'll need to improve drastically to win and keep the job. Whoever wins the job will have plenty of receiving weapons at their disposal, but they'll be a low-end QB2 option until they prove otherwise.

From RotoBaller

Budda Baker Jun 17 9:43am ET

Arizona Cardinals SS Budda Baker (illness) said Wednesday, June 16, that he tested positive for COVID-19. The Cardinals finished minicamp last week, and no close contacts were identified.

Fantasy Spin: Baker is among the top defensive backs in fantasy for his tackling ability. This shouldn't affect that status.

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Jadeveon Clowney Jun 16 9:40pm ET

Cleveland Browns defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (knee) took part in nearly every drill in minicamp on Tuesday and plans to be full go for the rest of minicamp. The three-time Pro Bowler said he "felt great" after surgery on his left meniscus ended his season early in 2020. "I felt great coming in, and I feel great now. I hope I continue on that phase into the next six-week phase and just keep getting stronger and faster for training camp," Clowney said. The 28-year-old pass-rusher played in just eight games for the Tennessee Titans and failed to record a sack. In 13 games for the Seattle Seahawks the year prior, Clowney managed just three sacks. The former No. 1 overall pick has played in just one full season in his seven years in the NFL, but he can be a game-wrecking force when healthy. If he can stay on the field in 2021, Cleveland's defense could be nasty.

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Odell Beckham Jr. Jun 16 9:40pm ET

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said that wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (knee) looked "great" on Wednesday at mandatory minicamp. Beckham suffered a torn ACL in Week 7 last year and missed the rest of the 2020 season. "It looks really great," Mayfield said. "After seeing him run and really just talking to him, as well. He feels comfortable. He's still getting used to some of these cuts and certain motions. You're talking about seven months since the (knee) surgery, so it's pretty impressive how quickly he's come back." OBJ has become an injury risk in a run-first offense, so fantasy managers should no longer treat him as a top-15 wideout. But he's currently healthy and his price will be much lower this year, making him a fine high-end WR3 target.

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Trevor Lawrence Jun 16 9:30pm ET

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Drew Brees Jun 16 9:20pm ET

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From RotoBaller

Danielle Hunter Jun 16 8:43pm ET

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Matt Breida Jun 16 7:13pm ET

Buffalo Bills RB Matt Breida (undisclosed) did not participate in team drills during practice Wednesday, June 16.

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Cole Beasley Jun 16 6:13pm ET

Buffalo Bills WR Cole Beasley (leg) is participating in practices during minicamp this week. He played with a broken bone in his leg during the playoffs.

Fantasy Spin: Beasley has been a reliable receiver for the Bills over the last few seasons and will continue to work in the slot in 2021. He can be a No. 3 receiver or flex option for fantasy players this upcoming season.

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Eric Ebron Jun 16 6:03pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers TE Eric Ebron (undisclosed) was not at practice Wednesday, June 16, but head coach Mike Tomlin said it was an excused absence.

Fantasy Spin: Ebron should continue to have an important role in the passing game even though the team added Pat Freiermuth during the draft. He can be considered a No. 2 tight end in fantasy leagues.

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Emmanuel Ogbah Jun 16 5:43pm ET

Miami Dolphins DE Emmanuel Ogbah (undisclosed) did not participate in practice Wednesday, June 16, because he is dealing with a minor injury, according to a source.

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Lamar Jackson Jun 16 5:23pm ET

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is in line for a contract extension, and the team hopes to reach an agreement before the start of training camp, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. Jackson's extension is considered the top priority for the Ravens.

Fantasy Spin: The two sides have several weeks to reach a deal, and Jackson likely will become of the top paid quarterbacks in the NFL. He should be a weekly starting option in fantasy leagues because of his ability to throw and run.

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Allen Robinson Jun 16 3:40pm ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson II said he doesn't have any contract-extension updates and sounded resigned to possibly playing the 2021 season on his one-year franchise tag. The deadline to sign franchise-tagged players to long-term deals is on July 15. Robinson will make $17.98 million if he plays on the franchise tag after leading the team with 102 catches for 1,250 yards last year. The 27-year-old skipped voluntary workouts but reported to the mandatory minicamp this week. He plans on reporting to training camp next month on time. Robinson has finished as a top-12 receiver in the last two years despite shoddy quarterback play. Veteran Andy Dalton might be an upgrade for A-Rob, giving him some more upside as a very safe low-end WR1.

From RotoBaller

Ben Roethlisberger Jun 16 3:00pm ET

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Sam Darnold Jun 16 2:40pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Robinson did not report to organized team activities despite signing the franchise tag earlier this offseason, but it appears he won't be rocking the boat any more than that for now. The 27-year-old has been trying to get a long-term deal done with the Bears for a while, and the two sides still have about a month to hammer something out. Robinson should continue to be considered a low-end WR1 for fantasy purposes - one with even more upside when Justin Fields becomes the starting quarterback.

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