K.J. Wright can’t hide the emotional pain.
Two outstanding teammates, and close friends, are gone from the Seattle Seahawks.
‘You just didn’t see that happening the way it did, but it’s a ruthless business’
Wright, a veteran outside linebacker, understands the business decisions that led to cornerback Richard Sherman being released, and subsequently signing with NFC West rival San Francisco, and defensive end Michael Bennett being traded to Philadelphia.
“It’s tough,” Wright told Alex Marvez and Bill Polian on Late Hits. “This has been one of the more tough offseasons to deal with. Every year it’s not fun when guys leave, but this one hurt pretty bad with Sherman leaving. I’ve been with him going on eight years. Same thing with Mike. Been with him for going on five years. You just didn’t see that happening the way it did, but it’s a ruthless business. It’s something that we know what we were signed up for. However, it still doesn’t make it easier knowing when your guys leave.”
‘You just have to rebuild that chemistry with someone else’
Wright isn’t concerned that the Seahawks’ chemistry will be disrupted because of the absences of Sherman and Bennett.
“The locker room chemistry will be fine,” Wright said. “You don’t get mad or upset at the management end of things. It’s just that when a guy leaves, like a Sherman for example, you just have to rebuild that chemistry with someone else. Me and Sherm, we knew each other (like) the back of each other’s hands. But whoever they put in there to replace him, I’ll be with them in OTAs, get too know how they play the game, know how they communicate and we’re going to be just fine.”
‘Whatever motivates Sherm to be at his best is going to pay off for him’
He acknowledges that Sherman’s joining the 49ers was intentional, because it gives him the chance to face the Seahawks at least twice per season.
“I believe it had a little bit to do with it and I’m not mad at him,” Wright said. “We’re always competing to be our best. Whatever motivates Sherm to be at his best is going to pay off for him. Sometimes guys do make decisions to play their old team and guys always get hyped up about that and so, he gets a lot of opportunities to face us and it’s going to be fun to go against him. As soon as the news broke, I texted him, ‘It’s going to be fun to battle with you.’ I’m kind of glad I get to see him twice a year.
‘(Williams) still has a lot left in the tank even though he’s a little older’
“Mike B, he’s the man. He was somebody that I also talked to and I just thanked Mike for — I’ve been with him a long time — just watching him what he did off the field was just amazing. When he stood up to things going on with police brutality and this stuff he’s done with his football camps and the way he just stepped up to lead this football team whenever we faced certain controversy going on in the country. As far as a football player, of course, he lived in the offensive backfield. … He’s a heck of a football player. He still has a lot left in the tank even though he’s a little older, so Philly, the Super Bowl champs, just got a real big upgrade. He’s really going to help that team on and off the field.”
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