Why the Carolina Panthers are a great match with K.J. Wright
With a month away until the start of the preseason, the Carolina Panthers still have the chance to make a huge upgrade on defense with K.J. Wright.
Throughout the offseason, the Carolina Panthers have made a lot of great moves to fill gaps on the team. However, the organization could still look at upgrading the linebacker position so they have more options and depth in 2021.
General manager Scott Fitterer has added options he’s had previous connections with during the offseason so far. But there are still more potential targets available that have shared the same team with him.
A familiar face to target has to be K.J. Wright.
Both Fitterer and Wright spent a significant time together while with the Seattle Seahawks, which is a tool he’s utilized once before in free agency with the signing of wide receiver David Moore.
Luckily for the Panthers, the former Mississippi State star was not re-signed by the Seahawks. So he still can sign with any team who wants him despite Pete Carroll flirting with the idea of bringing Wright back at some stage.
K.J. Wright would bring a quality experience to the Carolina Panthers.
During his 10 years with the Seahawks, Wright has played in two Super Bowls, amassed six career interceptions, 13.5 sacks, and 66 tackles for loss. He was even selected to be in the Pro Bowl in 2016.
Even though he’s a seasoned veteran, Wright could still mentor a relatively young Panthers’ linebacker core that is devoid of any real depth – especially on the interior behind free-agent signing Denzel Perryman.
Wright has primarily played in a 4-3 style defense in Seattle. This is a very similar scheme to what the Panthers have run over the years.
Defensive Coordinator Phil Snow has switched it up sometimes. But his 4-3 system would be a great fit for Wright and his potential to make instinctive plays.
During the offseason, the Panthers made only a select few additions to the linebacker position. Adding Perryman from the Los Angeles Chargers was a huge upgrade, and the Panthers are also looking at using Haason Reddick on the defensive line/hybrid outside linebacker role.
Wright would be the perfect addition that could play alongside Shaq Thompson and Perryman. In order for the Panthers to have a successful season, they need to make sure they’re set at linebacker to potentially take their defense to the next level.
Financially, Carolina should be able to get Wright on a good deal, as I do not see him getting a big-time deal at this stage. Furthermore, the Panthers also have the cap space to make a small move like this.
Even if the Panthers do not think they will start Wright, he’s still worth bringing him in for training camp to see what work ethic and mentality he brings to the team. Simply put, the experienced figure is a great depth option that could have a role to play if Carolina opted to go in this particular direction.