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Chargers should target K.J. Wright in free agency

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Tight end Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers scores a touchdown while defended by strong safety Kam Chancellor #31 and outside linebacker K.J. Wright #50 of the Seattle Seahawks at Qualcomm Stadium on September 14, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Tight end Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers scores a touchdown while defended by strong safety Kam Chancellor #31 and outside linebacker K.J. Wright #50 of the Seattle Seahawks at Qualcomm Stadium on September 14, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The NFL’s free agency window is weeks away from opening up and the Los Angeles Chargers may want to head up to the pacific northwest to fill a hole in their defense. 

It is that time of year, football fans.

Super Bowl LIII has sluggishly passed and the 2018 NFL season has drawn to a close. And with that, the highly talked about 2019 free agency signing period is on the horizon. Teams have until March 13 to decide which players they want to re-sign and which ones they will release into the free-for-all.

The Chargers enter the offseason with a glaring need for another consistent linebacker. Denzel Perryman is their best player at the position, but his inability to stay healthy has been a lingering issue since he entered the league in 2015. If the Bolts want to make a splash this spring, they should keep a veteran free agent from Seattle on their radar.

Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright could test the market in mid-March once his contract expires. Although he did miss the majority of this past season with a knee injury, the eight-year veteran has never struggled to stay on the field throughout his career. Furthermore, he has been one of the NFL’s most reliable linebackers for the last five seasons.

From 2014 to 2017, the Tennessee-born player recorded at least 105 combined tackles and a minimum of 70 solo tackles annually. In his five games this regular season, Wright racked up 23 combined tackles and 15 solo tackles.

He was a valuable asset in Seattle’s only playoff game of the campaign against the Dallas Cowboys. The long-time Seahawk had seven solo tackles, eight combined tackles, and an interception in their divisional round loss. 

Wright would unquestionably boost the Chargers linebacking corps if general manager Tom Telesco signs him. The Mississippi State graduate is a sturdy run-stuffer that would give a young Bolts front-seven a strong veteran leader.

His two Super Bowl appearances and six trips to the playoffs would add loads of experience to one of the AFC’s top squads in 2018.

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Aside from Perryman, L.A.’s linebacker group includes Kyle Emanuel, Uchenna Nwosu, Hayes Pullard and Nick Dzubnar. Those players are not striking fear into the eyes of opposing offenses anytime soon.

The only tricky aspect of signing Wright could be his salary. Last season, he made $6.75 million and could ask for more money if he does not return to the Emerald City. However, his asking price would not be sky-high like some of the other top free agents of 2019.

Even if the Bolts have to shell out a couple more million to bring him to Southern California, the investment would still be worth it. The former Pro Bowler said he is comfortable with staying in Seattle, but it is unclear if Seahawks management wants to extend his contract.

Nonetheless, Wright’s experience, solid tackling, and excellent run-stopping would be a valuable addition to the Chargers linebacking corps.

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